Following treatment, the radioactive waste is held in designated areas that provide for its isolation and confinement and which allow its easy retrieval at the end of the storage period.

The IAEA provides support to Member States in establishing a proper safety framework for the storage of radioactive waste and spent fuel. Activities under this programme include the development of IAEA Safety Standards for predisposal management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, the assistance to the Member States on the use and application of these Safety Standards, the coordination of the Waste Safety Standards Committee, and providing the Secretariat for the meetings of the Contracting Parties of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.

In addition, an international Joint Working Group has been established to address the safety of dual purpose (transport and storage) casks for spent nuclear fuel in a holistic manner.

Assistance is provided to the Member States, upon their request, through national, regional and interregional technical cooperation projects, as well as through peer reviews of radioactive waste management programmes.

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