Radioactive Waste Management

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In the production of electricity, in health care, research and industrial activities radioactive materials are used commonly. Just like waste is formed through an activity, radioactive materials also leave behind radioactive waste. Disposal of any kind of waste is necessary for human safety and health…

Introduction

Hospitals and labs doing research work generate low-levels of radioactive waste. Also the nuclear fuel cycle generates it, however at this level the radioactivity lasts a short time and not dangerous to dispose of. The intermediate-level of waste should be disposed carefully as it contains higher amounts of radioactivity. The high-level waste may be the used fuel itself, or the waste generated from reprocessing the fuel. They contain long-lived radioactivity and also generates a high amount of heat. (AUA, 2007)
Radioactive materials are themselves a threat, and shielding is required for their management. Their waste is even more a threat since it can affect millions of people throughout the area that has been exposed to, hence proper management is required. Since most of the radioactive waste can be reused for nuclear plants, its high cost and utility makes it important to manage it properly. Also management from the point of view of keeping radioactive materials secure is also important since in the wrong hands, radioactive materials can be used to spread terrorism in the world. (IAEA, 1995)
Radioactive waste is hazardous for the natural environment in high quantities. Once the radioactivity escapes into the environment, humans and other species are exposed to ionizing radiation. ...
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