South Africa launches nuclear waste disposal agency


The agency responsible for the management and disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants has officially launched in South Africa.


Called the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI), it will also have the responsibility for managing and disposing radioactive waste that spreads from the use of radiation at medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics and from industrial activities such as mining.


South Africa’s National Radioactive Waste Disposal Act of 2008 mandated that a national agency for dealing with the country’s waste should be established.


The Department of Energy said: “One of the major activities that the Institute is charged with in terms of legislation is to plan, design, construct, operate, manage and monitor any new radioactive waste disposal facilities.


“This is an important step forward for the country, in view of the fact that the Institute may now formally engage in making concrete plans for the management, interim storage and disposal of all the high level wastes that are currently temporarily stored at facilities at Koeberg and Pelindaba.”


The Institute is governed by a Board of Directors which was appointed by the nation’s Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins.