IAEA presents a report on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management

Nuclear waste management has always been the biggest concern of critics. The environmentalists aim spent fuel and radioactive waste as their primary motive to criticize the nuclear industry. With the growing need for power and substitute for coal, the demand for nuclear power plants is increasing globally. There is significant development undergoing for safe and effective management of spent fuel and radioactive waste.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report “Status and Trends in Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management” provides vital information about current practices, developing technologies, and trends on waste management and spent fuel inventory. The report focuses on waste management across the world and discusses the different key processes and divisions of several types of solid wastes in terms of total volume.

The report elucidates that around 95% of existing radioactive waste has exceptionally low levels (VLLW) or low-level (LLW) of radioactivity, while about 4% is intermediate-level waste (ILW) and less than 1% is high-level waste (HLW).  Globally about 80% of the solid radioactive waste is disposed. A total of 390,000 tons of radioactive waste has been produced by nuclear power plants around the world from 1954 (first reactor) till 2016. In which about two-thirds of the radioactive waste is disposed of, and one-third is reprocessed. With the wider use of fast neutron reactors and closed fuel cycles, the volume of radioactivity waste could reduce significantly.

The report also mentions the steady progress in the public hearing domain and emphasizes the importance of public communication concerning disposal sites. You can find the report here.

Source: IAEA

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