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The Rail
Begin your journey on the internet with The Rail. This is junction 1360 on "The Science Expedition".



The International Atomic Energy Agency defines storage as:

    The placement of waste in a nuclear facility where isolation, environmental protection and human control are provided with the intent that the waste will be retrieved at a later time.
The primary distinction between "storage" and "disposal" is the phrase "with the intent that the waste will be retrieved at a later time". If waste retrieval is not intended, then it is "disposal".

Radioactive wastes are typically stored for one or more of the following reasons: to allow them to decay to lower radioactivity levels; to temporarily hold them awaiting processing (or until a processing method has been developed); or to temporariliy hold them awaiting disposal (or until a disposal facility has been constructed). Each of these reasons may impose slightly different restrictions on storage in terms of length of time, physical form of the waste, radioactivity levels, etc.

"Storage for decay" is a cost effective way to manage short lived, low level radioactive wastes. Due to the physical laws of nature, the radioactivity reduces with time. After 10 half-lives the level of radioactivity has reduced by a factor of 1024, typically to near background levels. For the short lived radioisotopes typically used in medicine and research, this storage period for complete decay may be only a few weeks to a few months. After this time, the waste is no longer radioactive and can be disposed of as conventional waste (of course, taking into account any other hazards that the waste might pose, such as biological hazards). For other wastes, such as spent nuclear fuel, the "storage for decay" period may be many hundreds of thousands of years. However, it is important to note that all radioactivity will eventually decay.

Links to operating facilities are marked with . For additional information about the sites (e.g. "unofficial" information posted by other organizations), try a web search using the facility name, location and/or operating organization.

Some web sites may not be in English. See index here for language codes, such as    JP / EN .


  • The Long Term Storage of Radioactive Waste: Safety & Sustainability A Position Paper of International Experts (IAEA)   EN 
  • Nuclear Waste: Storage & Disposal Methods (US)   EN 
  • Off-Site Source Recovery Project (US)   EN 
  • Orphan Sources Initiative (US)   EN 
  • Radioactive Waste Storage Sites & Methods (UK)   EN 
  • Selection of Efficient Options for Processing & Storage of Radioactive Waste in Countries with Small Amounts of Waste Generation (IAEA)   EN 
  • The Siting of Radioactive Waste Storage Facilities (US)   EN 
  • SKB - The storage of radioactive waste (Sweden)   EN 
  • UK National Consensus Conference on Radioactive Waste Management (UK)   EN 
  • USDOE Waste Storage (US)   EN 
  • WNA Report: Management of Radioactive Waste (International)   EN 
  • WNA Report: Waste Management in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (International)   EN 

    Low & intermediate level wastes

  • COVRA - Centrale Organisatie Voor Radioactief Afval (Netherlands)   NL / EN 
  •   COVRA - additional info (Netherlands)   EN 
  • Extended Interim Storage of Low-Level Radioactive Waste (US)   EN 
  • National Store for Long-lived Intermediate-level Radioactive Waste (Australia)   EN 
  • NRC - Storage of LLW at Power Reactor Sites (US)   EN 
  • Ontario Power Generation - RadWaste Operations Site (Canada)   EN 
  • Storage of LILW (Slovenia)   SI / EN 
  •   Remediation of the storage in Zavratec (Slovenia)   SI 
  • ZLN - Zwischenlager Nord (Germany)   DE 
  •   More on ZLN (Germany)   DE 
  • ZWILAG - Zentrales Zwischenlager Würenlingen (Switzerland)   DE 

    Spent fuel & high level wastes

  • ASECQ - Almacenamiento en Seco de Elementos Combustibles Quemados (Argentina)   ES 
  •   ASECQ in English (Argentina)   EN 
  • Brennelement-Zwischenlager (Germany)   DE / EN / FR 
  • Civilian Nuclear Spent Fuel Temporary Storage Options (US)   EN 
  • CLAB - Central Interim Storage Facility for Spent Fuel (Sweden)   SE 
  •   CLAB in English (Sweden)   EN 
  • Connecticut Yankee Spent Fuel Storage (US)   EN 
  • Curriculum Module on Long Term Nuclear Waste Storage (US)   EN 
  • Design of Fuel Handling & Storage Systems in Nuclear Power Plants (IAEA)   EN 
  • Dezentrale Zwischenlagerung abgebrannter Brennelemente (Germany)   DE 
  • Dry Cask Storage: Problems Guaranteed, & Problems Unknown (US)   EN 
  • Dry Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel: The Safer Alternative to Reprocessing (France)    EN 
  • Drying of Spent Nuclear Fuel (US)   EN 
  • Evaluation of Heat Removal Characteristics of Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facilities (Japan)    EN 
  • Fort St. Vrain Spent Fuel Storage (US)    EN 
  • Hanford Spent Nuclear Fuel Program (US)   EN 
  • 10CFR72 - Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel & High-Level Radioactive Waste (US)   EN 
  • NRC Approved Spent Fuel Dry Storage Designs (US)   EN 
  • NRC List of Dry Cask Storage Documents (US)   EN 
  • NSNFP - National Spent Nuclear Fuel Program (US)   EN 
  • Nuclear Waste Dry Cask Storage (US)    EN 
  • NUREG-1536: Standard Review Plan for Dry Cask Storage Systems (US)   EN 
  • Ontario Power Generation - Used Fuel Storage (Canada)   EN 
  • Overview of global spent fuel storage (IAEA)    EN 
  • Paks NPP - Used Fuel Storage (Hungary)   EN 
  • Prairie Island Spent Fuel Storage Facts (US)   EN 
  •   Reports for the Prairie Island ISFSI (US)   EN 
  • Plutonium Storage Inc (US)   EN 
  • Private Fuel Storage Facility LLC (US)   EN 
  • Rancho Seco Spent Fuel Storage (US)    EN 
  • Rokkasho-mura HLW Storage (Japan)   JP 
  • Standort Zwischenlager - On-site interim storage facilities (Germany)   DE 
  •   On-site interim storage facilities (Germany)   EN 
  • Storage of Spent Fuel from Power Reactors (IAEA)   EN 
  • Technical, Economic & Institutional Aspects of Regional Spent Fuel Storage Facilities (IAEA)   EN 
  • WNA Report: The "Back End" of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (International)   EN 
  • Zentrale Zwischenlager (Germany)   DE 
  • Zwischenlagerung in Deutschland (Germany)   DE 

    Liquid wastes

  • Hanford Tank Remediation Project (US)   EN 
  • Tanks Technology Guide (US)   EN 

    Other resources

  • Dry Storage Cask Links (US)   EN 
  • GreenLink - Public issues in radwaste storage (US)   EN 


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    (This page last updated 2009-02-11).