NEWMDB - The IAEA Nuclear Waste Management Database IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Glossary of Terms


a collection of conditioning methods for conversion of waste into a waste form by solidification, embedding or encapsulation. The aim is to reduce the potential for migration or dispersion of radionuclides during handling, transport, storage and/or disposal
in situ
in its original place
a waste treatment method of burning combustible waste to reduce its volume and yield an ash residue
Indicators of Sustainable Development
an element of “Agenda 21”, which was issued from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

Chapter 40 of Agenda 21 calls for the development of indicators for sustainable development (ISD). In particular, it requests countries at the national level, and international government and non-governmental organizations at the international level, to develop the concept of ISD in order to identify such indicators.

As a follow up, the IAEA was assigned the responsibility to develop ISD for radioactive waste management, in accordance with Chapter 22 of Agenda 21 and the UN-wide indicators development work programme. Development of ISD for radioactive waste was still on-going at the IAEA in 2001/2002.
interim storage
see storage
ion exchange
a usually reversible exchange of one ion with another, either on a solid surface, or within a lattice. A commonly used method for treatment of liquid waste.