News 24.05.2024

Long Night of Research 2024

NES Presentation at the Long Night of Research

On Friday, May 24, 2024, the Long Night of Research took place in Austria, and – by invitation of the Department of Radiation Protection of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action* – NES was delighted to be represented. In a series of repeated presentations, the origin and quantities of radioactive waste in Austria, and how the waste is treated was explained by NES. The journey of the waste through the facilities of NES was shown, and audience questions were addressed.

Radioactive waste is generated from many useful applications in medicine, industry, and research, as well as from the decommissioning of facilities that previously handled radioactive materials. In Austria, only low- to intermediate-level radioactive waste needs to be disposed. First, NES collects and sorts the waste before processing, conditioning, and safely storing it in Seibersdorf until a final disposal has been found. At the Seibersdorf site, facilities are maintained to the latest technological standards to ensure maximum safety. These include:

  • an incineration plant for combustible waste,
  • a water treatment plant for cleaning contaminated wastewater,
  • a hot cell for handling radiation sources,
  • two stainless steel caissons for sorting and processing waste,
  • a high-pressure press for non-combustible waste,
  • a 32-drum drying plant, as well as
  • a chemical laboratory and a drum measurement facility for waste characterization and documentation.

The radioactive waste is converted into a physically and chemically stable form and temporarily stored in (typically) 200l-drums in an earthquake-proof and climate-controlled storage facility at the NES site until it is moved to a final disposal site. To ensure safe storage, each drum is inspected regularly.

NES would like to thank all visitors for the interesting exchange and interest in the safe treatment and of radioactive waste. Sincere thanks go to Federal Ministry of Climate Action for the invitation and initiative.


*Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Section V – Environment and Circular Economy, Department 8 – Radiation Protection, Untere Donaustraße 11, 1020 Vienna