Society produces a variety of waste that must be disposed of in a way that ensures the protection of humans and the environment without imposing undue burdens on future generations. Radioactive waste is no different.
Low-level, intermediate level and high-level
Two types of repositories are foreseen for radioactive waste: one for the disposal of low intermediate level waste (L/ILW) and one for the disposal of high-level waste (HLW). HLW consists of spent fuel from nuclear power plants and high-level vitrified residues from the reprocessing of spent fuel. They generate heat due to radioactive decay. L/ILW consists of radioactive waste from the operation and the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, but also from medicine, industry and research. Radioactive waste is conditioned in such a way that it can be safely stored and disposed of. Until its final disposal in deep geological repositories, radioactive waste is stored in interim storage facilities.