Waste Technology Section

Geological Waste Disposal

Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste


To assist in the development, transfer and demonstration of technologies appropriate for the geological disposal of high level and long lived waste and to supplement national efforts and gain public confidence in waste disposal schemes.

Responsible Officer: Lumir NACHMILNER


It has been the technical consensus of most waste management specialists for several decades that geological disposal, using a system of engineered and natural barriers, is the preferred option of disposal for high level and long lived radioactive waste. The progress that has been made in the scientific and technical aspects of geological disposal over the last decade provides increasing assurance to the waste management community that sound technical solutions underpinned by good scientific investigation are available. However, geological disposal for these types of radioactive wastes has not yet been realized in any country. Most geological disposal programmes are the subject of debate and are suffering delays because some sectors of society do not have confidence in this option. So the Agency is contributing towards developing confidence in relevant technologies, approaches and concepts for the geological disposal of radioactive waste, and supporting international projects to demonstrate the technology and its implementation.

Major Activities:

For more information, see the pages below:

For Geological Disposal-related IAEA publications, go to the Geological Disposal Publications Page