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South African launches radwaste agency via World Nuclear News

The National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) has been formally launched by South Africa’s energy minister. It will be responsible for the management and disposal of the country’s radioactive waste.

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. This legislation was adopted by parliament in January 2009.

South African energy minister Dikobe Ben Martins officially launched the new agency in Pretoria on 31 March. In addition to managing the country’s radioactive wastes generated through its use of nuclear energy, the NRWDI will also dispose of radioactive sources used in medical and industrial applications.

A national repository for low- and intermediate-level wastes has been operated by South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) at Vaalputs in the Northern Cape province. This was commissioned in 1986 for wastes from the Koeberg nuclear power plant and is financed by fees paid by utility Eskom. Operation of the Vaalputs repository has now been transferred from Necsa to NRWDI.

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