Waste Management

Europe / Nuclear Group Publishes Background Papers On Key Issues Including Waste Management

By David Dalton
28 September 2022

Data shows bloc could have inventory of 76,000 cubic metres of spent fuel in 2030
Nuclear Group Publishes Background Papers On Key Issues Including Waste Management
The radwaste storage facility run by Covra in the Netherlands has a licence to operate for a 100 years. Image courtesy Covra.
Brussels-based nuclear industry group nucleareurope has published a series of background papers on radioactive waste management and decommissioning activities.

The group said whilst the volume of radioactive material generated is fairly low compared to that of other industries, the nuclear industry has a responsibility to ensure that it is handled appropriately to protect both people and the environment.

The four papers summarise how radioactive waste is dealt with by the sector and provide information “to complement our existing toolkit”, nucleareurope said.

“Nuclear plays a key role in ensuring security of energy supplies and helping to achieve decarbonisation targets,” said nucleareurope director-general Yves Desbazeille. “At the same time, we must recognise that radioactive waste and how it is managed is often raised in discussions with stakeholders.”

The papers show that between them EU nations had inventories of spent nuclear fuel totalling 58,000m3 in 2016. This is expected to grow to 76,000m3 in 2030, according to data from the European Commission quoted by nucleareurope. The 2016 inventory of waste – including very low-level waste, low-level waste, intermediate-level waste and high-level waste – was 3.46 million m3 in 2016. This is expected to grow to 5.14 million m3 in 2030.

“The nuclear industry is a best-in-class example in the power sector when it comes to waste management, as all the waste it generates is managed efficiently and safely,” nucleareurope said.

“The nuclear industry produces large volumes of energy from a very small amount of fuel. The amount of radioactive waste produced per kWh during this process is also minimal.”

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