With the introduction of a nuclear power program in South Africa during the 1970’s it was realized that radioactive waste will have to be managed and that will require a national site for the disposal of the country’s nuclear waste.
In November 2005 Cabinet approved and published the Radioactive Waste Management Policy and Strategy, which identified the need for the implementation of an independent radioactive waste disposal institute. The National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute Act (No. 53 of 2008) became effective on the 1st December 2009 endorsing the establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI).
The National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) is a state owned entity established in terms of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute Act (53 of 2008)
and is responsible for discharging an institutional obligation as defined in Section 1 of the Nuclear Energy Act (46 of 1999),
which relates to the disposal and related waste management of radioactive waste on a national basis.
The safe disposal of radioactive waste is the end goal of the total radioactive waste management cycle.
The nuclear community needs to build confidence that such waste can be safely disposed in safe, an environmentally acceptable and economical manner.
To this end, Vaalputs has been established in 1986 as the national radioactive waste management disposal facility that serves South Africa’s needs for disposing of low level radioactive waste (LLW)
generated by the nuclear, industrial, medical and agricultural sectors.