Considerable amounts of easily soluble salts such as sodium nitrate, sulphate, or carbonate are introduced into certain types of cemented waste. When such materials are stored in atmospheres with high relative humidity or disposed or by shallow land burial under unsaturated, but still humid conditions, condensation of water vapour will result in generation of a certain amount of liquid in the form of a strong salt solution. The volume of liquid may well exceed the storage capacity of the pore system in the cemented material and in the release of a limited amount of free contaminated solution. A model of the quantitative aspects for the equilibrium situation is presented. Experiments with hygroscopic water uptake support the model and give indications about the rate of the process. The release mechanism is only thought to be important for radionuclides which are not fixed in a low-solubility form within the cement matrix.