Nuclear Waste

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  • Reactor Reactor
  • Reactor (closed) Reactor (closed)
  • Interim storage (high level waste) Interim storage (high level waste)
  • Interim storage (radium-holding waste) Interim storage (radium-holding waste)
  • Repository (high level waste) Repository (high level waste)
  • Repository (radium-holding waste) Repository (radium-holding waste)

Great Britain


Operating Reactors: 19
Reactors in Construction: 0
Reactors Being Decommissioned: 9

High Level Waste in Interim Storage Facilities:
5,840 t HM + 1,730 m3

for Reprocessing:
??? t HM fuel elements (GB)

Other Nuclear Waste:
121,260 m3 low and medium level waste is stored in interim storage facilities and 938,600 m³ in near-surface final repository. A final repository for persistent medium level waste is planned to be commissioned in 2040. Very low level waste is stored in conventional landfill sites.

Waste Management Concept for High Level Waste:

In Great Britain, spent fuel elements are either reprocessed or intermediately stored at the sites of the power plants or at Sellafield. The operators of the power plants can decide themselves if spent fuel elements are to be reprocessed or directly stored at a final disposal site. In the long run, high and medium level waste will be stored in deep geological formations.

Final Disposal Situation for High Level Waste:

At this stage, the selection process for a final repository has started. It is expected to be commissioned in 2075.


Increased radiation levels have been found in the sea and at the beach close to the reprocessing facility in Sellafield. This could be linked to an increase in children's incident rates in the region. In addition, reprocessing implicates a high proliferation risk. The high level waste from power plants or reprocessing facilities must be stored intermediately for around 70 years.
A final repository for low and medium level waste in Dounreay had to be closed for safety reasons and is planned to be evacuated. Due to the low safety standards in Great Britain, 13,000,000 m3 of contaminated soil is expected to be found at nuclear facilities sites.