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Insight - Stakeholder Newsletter
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Has any other country looked towards a similar geological disposal solution for radioactive waste?
As of 2006 at least 39 countries (including the UK) had significant arisings of radioactive waste. Of those countries, 25 have taken final decisions on a long-term policy and all opted for geological disposal. These include Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, USA and Sweden.
A further six have expressed a preference for geological disposal, with the remainder yet to decide.
All countries also have some form of interim storage. But no country has indicated that it has chosen, or is considering, indefinite storage as its long-term waste management policy.
Some country specific information:
- The USA has an operational facility which is disposing of transuranic wastes (broadly equivalent to Low Level Waste (LLW) - Intermediate Level Waste (ILW)) and Germany is planning to have its geological facility for non-heat generating wastes operational by 2013.
- A number of countries (including Finland and Sweden) are already investigating their preferred sites for a geological disposal facility for spent fuel. Finland and Sweden already have shallow geological facilities for disposal of ILW and LLW. Sweden has been operating the deep geological research facility, testing techniques for disposal of spent fuel, for a number of years.
- Finnish nuclear waste management company Posiva announced in early October 2009, its intention to apply for a construction licence in 2012 to excavate a repository in the bedrock at Olkiluoto. The site in west Finland will be used to store about 12,000 tonnes of spent fuel.
- France is investigating a site at Bure with a view to it becoming the final disposal facility and Canada is developing a deep repository for LLW and ILW at Kincardine.