Some nuclear activities, such as nuclear-powered electricity generation, give rise to high-level and/or long-lived waste. After processing and conditioning, this waste is temporarily stored in special buildings that ensure the safety of the public and the environment in the short and medium term (for up to 100 years or so). Safe long-term management, however, requires a solution that can guarantee the highest possible level of safety without the need for any active human intervention.
It is widely accepted, from a technical point of view, that geological disposal (disposal deep underground) is currently the safest and most sustainable option for the final management of high-level and/or long-lived radioactive waste.
In Belgium, responsibility for managing radioactive waste lies with ONDRAF/NIRAS, which determines and coordinates the RD&D programme on the safety and feasibility of geological disposal of high-level and/or long-lived waste. EIG EURIDICE contributes to this programme by managing and operating the HADES underground research laboratory.
Diagram of what a future waste repository in Belgium might look like