The major sources of radioactive waste producers in Brazil are the two nuclear power plants. The waste generated by the uranium mining and milling industrial complex, although significant in volume, is kept at the site, in a dam specially built for this purpose. The waste management policy takes into account both the accumulated and projected waste generated by the above mentioned facilities and the existing 3,500 cubic meters of Caesium-137 waste produced as a result of the decontamination work performed in Goiânia, following the 1987 accident that involved a 1,375 Curies teletherapy source.
The National Nuclear Energy Commission, CNEN, is responsible for regulation and final disposal of radioactive waste. Political aspects related to the subject of radioactive waste disposal contribute to the difficulties faced by the Brazilian Government when decisions concerning radioactive waste management are to be taken. Concerning national legislation, Law 10,308 enacted on November 20, 2001, establishes rules for radioactive waste deposits site selection, construction, licensing, operation, control, compensation, civil responsibilities and warranties.
The waste generated by the uranium mining and milling industrial complex, located at the Poços de Caldas plateau in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, is kept in a 29.2 hectares dam system, specially built for that purpose. In the waste dam a total of 2.0x106 tons of solid material are estocked.
Because the Brazilian reprocessing programme has not been defined, the ANGRA 1 spent fuel is temporally stored on-site, in the reactor basin. As of December 2000, 180,9 metric tons of spent fuel (506 fuel elements) are stored in racks at the on-site reactor basin of ANGRA 1 nuclear power plant. A new compact storage rack was installed in ANGRA 1, in 2002, with a planned capacity of 1,252 fuel assemblies, increasing the storage capacity of the on-site reactor basin.