Radioactive Waste Management Strategy In The Netherlands
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The Netherlands literally means low lands; large parts of the country are indeed below the sea level. In their century-long struggle with water, the Dutch have relied on an approach of long-term, inclusive and pragmatic solutions. This approach is also reflected in the radioactive waste management strategy.
In the Netherlands the policy is based on the philosophy that hazardous materials must be isolated, controlled and monitored. This is done by securing containment of radioactive waste in terms of organisational aspects as well as in terms of physical treatment. Really long-term, i.e. at least 100 years, storage in above ground engineered structures of low-, medium- and high-level waste, including spent fuel and (TE)NORM is the first element in the Dutch policy.
Secondly, and included in the policy are all necessary steps to be taken for the longer term. The burden of the waste will not solely be transferred to the next generations because a clear system of liabilities is created and the availability of finances is guaranteed for the future. For a country with a small nuclear power programme and an important amount of waste from other applications of radioactive materials, it is a practical solution that works.