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National action plan for radioactive waste management was approved

01.09.2015

Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants approved the national action plan for radioactive waste management, which gives an overview of radioactive waste currently existing and will be generated in the future and their management methods, as well as establishes national policy for radioactive waste management.

“The action plan aims to provide decision-makers and waste handlers with specific solutions for more systematic waste management and reducing waste quantities in Estonia,” Head of the Climate and Radiation Department of the Ministry of the Environment Evelyn Müürsepp explained.

The plan describes the institutions, technical and financial resources, and research and development activities for safe radioactive waste management. The action plan also provides the sub-objectives, measures, and expected results of the field until 2050.

Radioactive waste is any material or object, which contains or is contaminated by radionuclides, the activity of which exceeds the established clearance levels specified in the Radiation Act, and for which no future use is foreseen.

Estonian radioactive waste streams are small and the choice of suitable management methods relatively restricted. Most of the radioactive waste found in Estonia originates from the Soviet era. Today, the main producers of radioactive waste include medical, industrial, and research institutions, which hold a radiation practice licence. There are no functioning nuclear facilities in Estonia.

The need for the preparation of the national action plan for radioactive waste management arises from both the national development plan for radiation protection and the European Union Directive 2011/70 /Euratom.

The Ministry of the Environment submits the action plan to the European Commission on 23 August 2015, at the latest.

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