In September 2009, the third Research Programme for the Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste (OnderzoeksProgramma Eindberging Radioactief Afval, or OPERA) 2011-2016 was initiated. The aim of the research programme is to evaluate the existing safety and feasibility studies (the Safety Case). For many industrial risk-bearing activities it is required to review the permits and accompanying safety analyses on a regular basis (every 5 to 10 years). This review is made using new insights and looks at possible modifications to company management. The reviews conducted regarding the feasibility and safety of geological disposal for radioactive waste are now over 10 to 20 years old; it is important to periodically re-evaluate them and take into account new developments.


The Dutch policy for radioactive waste was established in a policy document (the nota Radioactief Afval) in 1984. This document established the basic policy principles (i.e. isolation, management and control) and the choice of geologically disposal. In the Netherlands, radioactive waste is stored aboveground at COVRA for at least 100 years. During this period, research is conducted on possibilities for geologically disposal of the radioactive waste. This policy was completed by work done in 2 research programmes up through 2001. The research conclusions confirmed the attainability of geologically disposal of radioactive waste in rock formations in the deep underground (salt and clay formations) present in the Netherlands. Recommendations were also made for follow-up research into retrievable disposal of radioactive waste.


Spanjeweg 1
4455 TW Nieuwdorp
The Netherlands

Havennummer 8601

E-mail: info@covra.nl
Tel: +31(0)113 616 666 Fax: +31(0)113 616 650

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