What are the main developments concerning the spent fuel reprocessing and storage of high level nuclear waste in Europe?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: ENER 013

Key messages

(29 Jul 2011)

The amount of high level nuclear waste from nuclear electricity production continues to accumulate. In 2008, 44,102 tonnes of heavy metals contained in high level nuclear waste was in storage, up 34.1% since 2006. The annual quantity of spent fuel was approximately 2,328[1] tonnes of heavy metals in 2008, relatively stable since 1990. On the other hand, the amount of electricity produced from nuclear power increased by 38.4% over the same period reference to the relative ENER indicator. This partial decoupling between electricity production and generation of radioactive waste can be explained by the fact that fuel rods are replaced gradually as well as by recent improvements in fuel burnup, plant efficiency and increased plant availability

[1] Estimates are provisional and  are based on NEA (2009) - Nuclear Energy Data 2009

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