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Radioactive Waste in Perspective

image of Radioactive Waste in Perspective

Large volumes of hazardous wastes are produced each year, however only a small proportion of them are radioactive. While disposal options for hazardous wastes are generally well established, some types of hazardous waste face issues similar to those for radioactive waste and also require long-term disposal arrangements. The objective of this NEA study is to put the management of radioactive waste into perspective, firstly by contrasting features of radioactive and hazardous wastes, together with their management policies and strategies, and secondly by examining the specific case of the wastes resulting from carbon capture and storage of fossil fuels. The study seeks to give policy makers and interested stakeholders a broad overview of the similarities and differences between radioactive and hazardous wastes and their management strategies.

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Key Points for Policy Makers

Nuclear Energy Agency

In OECD countries, both radioactive and hazardous wastes (a term used in this report for potentially dangerous non-radioactive wastes) are strongly regulated and safely managed. The principles applied to the management of both waste types are essentially the same.

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