Switzerland has a manageable amount of radioactive waste. The already existing volume together with the expected future volume could fill two thirds of the historic part of the Zürich train station terminal.
In Switzerland, radioactive waste is securely packaged and held in interim storage facilities and at the nuclear power plants until a deep geological repository has been constructed.
Radioactivity is an intrinsic property of certain substances. There are natural and artificial sources of radiation.
Radioactive substances are used in nuclear power plants and in medicine, industry and research. Radioactive waste is produced in the process. The waste producers are legally obliged to dispose of it safely.
Radioactive waste decays, which continuously decreases its toxicity. Emplaced in a deep geological repository and enclosed by a multiple safety barrier system, it is possible to avoid exposing humans and the environment to excessive radiation.
Radioactive waste mainly arises from the generation of electricity in nuclear power plants. A further proportion arises from applications in medicine, industry and research. As radioactive waste differs in its properties, it is categorised into different types.