NIRAS is the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile materials. This federal agency by law is responsible for the management of nuclear waste. Its mission is to draw up the inventory, to handle, treat and stock radioactive waste and to propose solutions for its long term depository and management.
In 2006 the Belgian government decided to dispose of the low and medium active short-lived waste in a surface disposal installation; NIRAS now needs a decision in principle for the high active long-lived nuclear waste so as to steer its further research and development in the right direction. The decision is relatively urgent as the agency will need another three to four decennia on R&D to work out any type of solution.
Such a decision is highly subject to pressure and influences from political, industrial en environmental groups.