In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh said, "The amount of such waste generated in India is around four tonnes per GW (1000 MW) for one year electricity generation, which is similar to the amount of waste generated internationally by other countries."

Nuclear waste is generated primarily from two kinds of facilities, such as Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) and Spent Fuel Processing Facilities.

The current installed nuclear power capacity is around 4,780 MW and is expected to reach 10,080 MW by 2019.

Singh, however, added that spent fuel is not considered as a waste in India. The country has adopted close fuel cycle option, which involves reprocessing and recycling of the spent fuel.

"The spent fuel, as such is not disposed. It is not considered a waste in India. Spent fuel generated from NPPs is cooled for a minimum period of 5 years before taking it up for reprocessing. During the reporcessing of spent fuel for recovering of valuable elements, the very small quantity of radioactive fission products (waste) is isolated.

"The waste is immobolised in suitable glass matrix in solid through vitrification and stored in interim storage facility for initial cooling and surveillance prior to their eventual emplacement at a geological disposal facility," Singh added.

Any radioactive waste generated during the treatment processes of reprocessing is disposed following the Atomic Energy (Safe Disposal if Radioactive) Rules 1987, promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.

Latest News from India News Desk