Disposal concept demonstrating

The current disposal concept at Vaalputs is based on shallow land disposal consisting of near surface trenches few metres deep but above the groundwater table.

Waste in general is considered to be material that has no further use. Every human activity results in the generation of waste, whether it comes from private homes, office blocks, factories, power plants or mining sites. Household waste is typically disposed of at municipal refuse dumps, but other forms of waste such as chemical and radioactive waste need to be disposed of in specially prepared disposal systems, called repositories.

Define and classify radioactive waste

The radioactive waste categorization process entails segregation of waste in terms of origin or specific source material, a combination of radiological, chemical, mechanical, thermal and biological properties and waste class. These characteristics are used to categorise the wastes in order to determine the applicable processing technology that will be used to render the final waste matrix acceptable for packaging, storage and final disposal at Vaalputs.
An important principle for the disposal of radioactive waste is that it must be contained and disposed of in a manner that will isolate the waste from man and the environment for time periods associated with the life time of the radioactive waste. The disposal of radioactive waste at Vaalputs is regulated by the National Nuclear Regulator. Currently only Low-Level Waste (LLW) that comply with the Vaalputs Waste Acceptance Criteria, which is approved by the National Nuclear Regulator, can be accepted for disposal at Vaalputs.

Health, Environment and Safety

The management of radioactive waste is a national responsibility assigned to the Minister of Minerals and Energy as per the Nuclear Energy Act of 1999 and delegated by virtue of section 55(2) of the Act.


Providing sufficient long-term storage capacity

Storage of spent fuel on the reactor sites is finite and its practice unsustainable in the long term.


Licence Applications