Radioactive Waste Management in Europe, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN)

Radioactivity is all around us. How we deal with it, determines how it affects us.

This includes effective waste management solutions for handling hazardous radioactive waste.

1. Radioactive waste management in Europe

Radioactive waste management and processing embroidens the sources of revenue for multinational waste treatment companies, which have grown their operations in the nuclear waste management business for some time now. The risk involved partly explains why prices for treating this material are considerably higher then with other waste management activities, this includes most hazardous waste types and non-hazardous waste types.  We often do not think about radioactive substances in our own life  playing a major role in the waste industry, especially hospital waste, eventually being treated as very short-lived waste.

In particular, the IRSN outlines that it is the lifelife and slow decay of radioactive materials that determine how the material is being treated. Operations are actually quite different from other waste treatment processes and do require a set of technical skills  specific to this industry, and the scale of operations also requires significant investments to be made beforehand. As a result of plant decommissioning, various components of such an installation have different radioactivity levels, which determines what treatment options are available. In Europe, deep geological disposal is favored for long-lived, high-level waste.

To read more on this topical issue, proceed to the following document by the Insitut de Radioprotectionet de Sûreté Nucléaire in France, further detailing the steps being taken by select European governments and businesses to address the problems inherent to nuclear waste disposal.

2. References

IRSN, Radioactive Waste Management (2013), viewed 6 September 2018, Radioactive Waste Management IRSN.

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