Nuclear waste site close to being selected

Storage facility will house waste produced over 50 years by test reactors

Authorities are close to identifying a site that will serve as the permanent home for the country’s 5,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste.


According to an unpublished report obtained by Berlingkse newspaper, some 22 sites throughout Denmark are suitable for storing the waste produced by the Risø National Laboratory test reactors starting in the late 1950s.


Although a national law from 1985 prohibits the commercial use of nuclear power in Denmark, the country continued to operate the test reactors until 2000. Decommissioning has been underway since 2003, and is expected to be completed in 2018.


Most of the material is low-level waste, but some 500 cubic metres is classified as medium-level waste.


The most dangerous waste is the reactors’ 233 kilograms of fuel rods. They remain radioactive for up to 300 years and must be stored at a depth of at least 30 metres.


By the time the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland completes its report, it is expected to have narrowed the list of possible sites to five.


The report is expected to be presented to the Health Ministry in early May. A final decision will be made after further studies, public hearings and parliamentary debate.