The radiological risk can be assessed on the basis of two main parameters: the activity level and the half-life.
The classification makes, on one hand, the distinction between very-short-lived waste, short-lived waste and long-lived waste, and on the other hand the distinction between very-low-, low-, intermediate- or high-level waste. The existing or expected management solutions are notably based on these criteria.
Very-short-lived waste (VSLW)
This is mainly hospital waste, containing very-short-lived radionuclides (i.e. with half-lives that are less than 100 days), used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Because of their very short half-lives, this waste is stored temporarily on site, for a period ranging from several days to several months and long enough for their radioactivity to decay. It is then disposed of as conventional waste.