Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Perspective

Nuclear Energy Agency

One of the challenges facing the continued availability of nuclear energy is that of ensuring the safe, environmentally acceptable and economic management of the waste generated during its production.

There is a broad scientific and technical consensus that disposal of high-level, long-lived radioactive waste in deep geologic formations is an appropriate and safe means of isolating it from the biosphere for very long time scales. There have, however, been setbacks in the disposal programmes in many countries, primarily due to the failure of the waste management community to win sufficient public and political support.

This report, which is based on recent work of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), reviews the progress to date in this field and the further steps that may be required to implement geologic disposal, taking into account both the technical and regulatory requirements, and the need to achieve an appropriate level of societal acceptance.

This book should be of interest to government and industry decision makers, academics and all those eager to better understand what is at stake in this widely debated subject and the prospects that emerge.

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