Fact Sheet  
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
 
Belgium graphic

Belgiumís Radioactive Waste Management Program

Low-level radioactive waste

Belgium stores long- and short-lived radioactive wastes in specially designed facilities across the country. Belgiumís National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials (ONDRAF/NIRAS), is looking at potential geologic storage sites for low-level and short-lived radioactive waste in more than 50 municipalities.


Spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

Spent nuclear fuel is stored in reactor pools. High-level wastes are stored for 50 years at the countryís central interim storage site at the Mol-Dessel nuclear power plant and research center north of Antwerp.


Reprocessing spent nuclear fuel

Spent nuclear fuel from Belgiumís reactors was sent to France until 1998, when the country decided to stop reprocessing. Vitrified (solidified) high-level wastes from spent nuclear fuel reprocessing are returned to Belgium, and will eventually be put into a deep geologic repository.


Transporting radioactive waste

Belgium has over 20 yearsí experience with spent nuclear fuel transport, both domestically and abroad, by truck, rail, and ship.


Deep geologic disposal plans

After studying long-term waste management options, Belgium's government elected deep geologic disposal in 1998, deciding that deep clay and shale were the most appropriate formations for long-lived and high-level waste. A clay site for high-level vitrified (solidified) waste disposal is also being studied near Belgium's Doel nuclear power plant.

Belgium takes a multi-barrier approach to repository design. Storage casks will be made of steel over-laid with stainless steel. Current plans call for the repository to open between 2035 and 2080.

 

Yucca Mountain Project