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Waste, radioactive, from nuclear power plants

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Raw radioactive waste is produced in nuclear power plants through cleaning of the cooling circuit, air and water from control areas and cleaning of the system. Spheroidal resin and filter cartridges are used to clean the cooling circuit, e.g. in pressurized water reactors. Evaporation drying systems, centrifuges and ion-exchange filters are used to clean the waste water. The air is cleaned with filters. Combustible and compactable waste in particular is produced during cleaning of the system. The raw waste is either treated directly in the nuclear power plant or in an external waste conditioning plant. Procedures such as drying, compacting or burning result in a considerable volume reduction. The annual volume of radioactive waste produced through the operation of a 1,300 MWe nuclear power plant with a pressurized water reactor amounts to:

  • Ion-exchanger resins 2 m3,

  • Evaporator condensate 25 m3,

  • Metal parts, insulating material 60 m3,

  • Paper, textiles, plastics 190 m3.


The annual volume of radioactive waste produced through the operation of a 1,300 MWe nuclear power plant with a boiling water reactor amounts to:

  • Ion-exchanger resins 8 m3,

  • Evaporator condensate 35 m3,

  • Filter auxiliaries, sludges 90 m3,

  • Paper, textiles, plastics 300 m3.

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