Waste transportation and waste containers

Every year hundreds of thousands of packages containing radioactive ma­terials, primarily of medical origin, are transported in Germany. However, only a small number of nuclear transports are conducted for materials associated with either the nuclear fuel cycle or the decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

The transport of heat-generating waste in Germany, specifically with respect to HLW being returned from France and the United Kingdom, has faced very strong public and political opposition. Waste transports are regularly disrupted by protesters and a significant police presence is gener­ally required. Partially as a result of the protests regarding transportation of waste in Germany, storage of SNF at centralized locations has been replaced by decentralized interim storage facilities located at the various NPP sites.

Germany has developed two primary systems for the transport and/or storage of heat generating waste: the CASTOR® and POLLUX® systems (GNS, 2011a). The CASTOR® family of containers is licensed for transport and interim storage, while the POLLUX® family of containers is intended for final disposal. Both containers were developed by the Gesellschaft fur Nuklear-Service mbH (GNS). Additionally, the GNS has developed the BSK 3 container concept for borehole disposal of SNF in salt, as well as specialized containers for waste products from research reactors.

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