Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste

Review of Developments in the Last Decade

Nuclear Energy Agency

The concept of removing long-lived radioactive wastes from the human environment by disposal in deep geological repositories was developed several decades ago. In the intervening years, research efforts world-wide have increased our knowledge and understanding of how underground disposal systems will function over very long periods of time. Significant progress has also been made towards implementation of such facilities. There have, however, been delays in the disposal programmes of several countries. This report is a review of developments in the past decade. The primary sources of information are the answers to a questionnaire provided by waste management organisations represented in the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC). The latter is an international forum of senior specialists from safety authorities, waste management agencies, R&D institutions and policy-making bodies.

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