The research structures concerning final disposal of highly radioactive wastes are described for the Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE) which belongs to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and to the Helmholtz Association (HGF). The implications by politics in Germany and the contributions by the European Commission are shown. INE’s research projects on HLW materials are explained starting with relevant scenarios and objectives for used fuel and vitrified HLW disposal. In this context, the experimental facilities as well as some recent results and achievements are presented. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy on a highly radioactive glass sample and a sample of high burn-up fuel is highlighted, showing XRF spectra of the HLW glass fragment and fuel particle for different excitation energies, and the identification of some elements as well as the chemical speciation.