Processing low-level and intermediate-level waste
All low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste is processed in the AVG Waste Processing Building. This processing always aims to tie down the radioactive substances and pack them in concrete to reduce their radiation. The solid waste goes into a press where it is compressed under high pressure into a solid block, which is subsequently encased in concrete. Carcasses from animal experiments and organic hospital waste is destroyed in a special incinerator. Radioactive liquids are also incinerated in a special oven. The flue gasses emitted by these ovens are cleaned twice. Firstly in a wet washing station and subsequently using a dry filter system. Larger solid parts are minimised in the scrap metal installation and subsequently encased in concrete. Watery liquids are cleaned by biological and chemical treatment. The subsequently cleaned water is discharged.
Processing highly radioactive waste
The high-level radioactive waste is delivered in very sturdy transport containers that can withstand any possible accident during transport. The high-level radioactive waste from the Borssele nuclear plant is transported to COVRA from the reprocessing plant in France. There, the useful components of the spent nuclear fuel are recycled (95%). The remaining waste (5%) is mixed in liquid glass and poured into a stainless steel packaging, after which it is sent to COVRA.
The spent nuclear fuel elements of research reactors and the waste from medical isotope production are not reprocessed, but sent straight to COVRA. These packages are removed from the transport containers, checked, measured and if necessary, repackaged. The waste is then stored in the HABOG’s bunkers.