Radioactive waste management
Pohl, Robert O. Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Categories of radioactive waste
- Spent fuel and high-level waste
- Transuranic waste
- Uranium mill tailings
- Low-level wastes
- Decommissioning of nuclear facilities
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The treatment and containment of radioactive wastes. These wastes originate almost exclusively in the nuclear fuel cycle for electricity generation and in nuclear weapons programs. The toxicity of radioactive waste requires careful isolation from the biosphere. Subterranean storage in sealed containment vessels is the usual method of disposing of radioactive waste, with the most dangerously radioactive materials intended for deep underground sequestration in suitably stable, geological repositories (Fig. 1). See also: Atomic bomb; Electric power generation; Electricity; Hydrogen bomb; Nuclear fuel cycle; Nuclear fuels; Nuclear power; Nuclear reactor; Radiation; Radiation damage to materials; Radiation injury to plants and animals; Radioactivity
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