What are the trends concerning the accumulation of high level nuclear waste and the production of spent fuel?

Policy Question
Indicator codes: ENER 013

Key messages

(05 Jul 2010)

The amount of high level nuclear waste from nuclear electricity production continues to accumulate. In 2007, 34,216 tonnes of heavy metals contained in high level nuclear waste was in storage, up 13.2% since 2005. The annual quantity of spent fuel was approximately 3,461 tonnes of heavy metals in 2007, relatively stable since 1990. On the other hand, the electricity produced from nuclear power increased by 17.7% over the same period. 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.

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