This paper seeks to understand the issues involved in the disposal of radioactive wastes and the policy followed by the United Kingdom in the management of radioactive waste. The discussions put forth in this paper will be supported by the information provided by several journals, websites dedicated to the subject of nuclear waste and policy documents published by Government departments.
The focus will then shift to the concept of repositories and their impact in the long term. The last section will discuss how the UK is likely to resolve the issue of nuclear waste in the long term and whether that will be in line with the current thinking on that issue.
The issue of radioactive waste disposal is a very serious one. Nuclear power for instance contributes to 23% of UK electricity needs.(Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.2001) However its sustainability is suspect until efficient means to manage and dispose radioactive nuclear wastes is found. Stockpiles of nuclear waste are accumulating in several nations. Improper storage can cause exposure to radiation, which results in health and environmental hazards. Also these can be used as weapons of mass destruction if they are found by terrorist organizations. Hence strategies for disposal must involve a multi-dimensional approach with consideration ethical and environmental factors while taking into account the principles of inter and intra-generational equity.
Radio active or nuclear waste is the product of a nuclear process, radioactive waste consists of materials containing radioactive chemical elements. generated in the processing of fuel for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons and in the process of nuclear fission. ...