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Many nuclear reactors constructed prior to the 1980s throughout the world will be coming to the end of their useful life in the coming decades.
Nuclear decommissioning refers to the actions taken to retire a nuclear facility, location or site permanently from service in a manner that provides for the health and safety of people and protects the environment. Decommissioning activities are subject to national policy requirements as well as a regulatory framework for safety.
National policies on waste management and decommissioning often include decommissioning aspects that may influence the choice of a possible decommissioning strategy (immediate decommissioning, deferred decommissioning, and in-situ decommissioning) as well as timing, infrastructure, environmental, and socioeconomic impacts.
In Canada, waste owners are responsible for the funding and organization for the decommissioning of their facilities, and for all applicable steps of waste management.