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Waste categories

A fundamental distinction is made between high-level waste and low and intermediate level waste. Depending on which waste category is involved, time spans of between tens of thousands of years and 1 million years have to be considered for safe disposal. One deep geological repository is planned for each waste category.
Waste categories
Waste categories The operators of nuclear power plants are responsible for the disposal of waste produced from nuclear energy, while the federal government is responsible for managing radioactive waste from healthcare, industry and research.
High-level radioactive waste consists of fission products from nuclear power plants. Fuel elements containing uranium are used for the production of electricity in nuclear power plants. Their service life is usually between 4 and 6 years, after which time, spent elements have to be removed and disposed of

Low and intermediate level waste products consist of other material used in operating the nuclear power plants (e.g., protective clothing, machinery, water for washing), material arising during decommissioning of nuclear power plants and waste arising from uses in healthcare, industry and research (including dismantling and decommissioning research facilities.

Further information

Disposal chain
Contact: Seraina Branschi
Last update: 30.11.2011

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