Radioactive waste arises in manageable volumes.
The five Swiss nuclear power plants (NPPs) produce around 75 tonnes of spent fuel per year. Depending on the operating lifetime of the individual plants, this will result in a total of around 3000 to 4300 tonnes. Packaged in disposal containers, this is the equivalent of around 7325 cubic metres, which corresponds roughly to the volume of seven family homes.
Assuming an operating lifetime of fifty years for the power plants, Nagra has calculated that the total volume of low- and intermediate-level waste (including disposal containers) will be around 60,000 cubic metres. Around half of this is waste arising from dismantling of the power plants. Waste from medicine, industry and research (MIR waste) makes up an additional volume of approximately 33,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level waste. The total volume of 100,000 cubic metres corresponds to the part of the main hall of Zürich railway station shown below.
Waste inventories and volumes (40 KB)
Based on these assumptions, the total volume of waste packaged for disposal is around 100,000 cubic metres.
The volume of 100,000 cubic metres corresponds more or less to the part of the main hall of Zürich railway station shown here. (Image: Comet)