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Nuclear Waste


Nuclear waste is the by-product of a reaction of fuels in the reactors. The nuclear waste is almost similar to the initial fuel loaded in the reactor, but the only difference is that the nuclear waste is the product of the reaction. After the fuels react to produce power, most of the uranium components decompose into different metal isotopes. The nuclear waste is very dangerous as it remains active for many years even after the reaction process is complete.

The waste remains radioactive and the radiations that it produces are harmful to humans thus the waste remains shielded to prevent the emissions from escaping. Water is the best shield for nuclear waste. These nuclear wastes are kept under water for a long time until the level of radiation they emit can be shielded by a layer of concrete. There is no safe disposal of the nuclear waste and the options that exist are hazardous.

Overview of nuclear waste

Nuclear waste can be viewed as the collection of nuclides left over after fuels have undergone reactions in the reactors. Radioactive materials can also be used for diagnosis and treatment of other diseases. Before the nuclear waste can decay to stability, they remain radioactive for some years. The process of radioactivity leads to the emission of gaseous waste and heat into the environment. These gaseous emissions are very harmful to all living environment as they may cause radiation damage. The composition of the nuclear waste is determined by three major things; how long the reactor reached, what was put in the reactor and how long the waste have been out of the reactor.

The radioactive materials are either man-made or occur naturally. There are international bodies that regulate the disposal of nuclear waste. Some countries have internal bodies that control the usage and disposal of radioactive materials. Things that have been radioactively contaminated are referred to as low-level nuclear wastes. These low-level nuclear wastes include contaminated clothes, tools, rags and many other items that have been used in the radioactive environment. The disposal of nuclear wastes has to be handled with great care and precaution to avoid escape of any radiation that is harmful to the living environment.

How to dispose nuclear waste

The best way to dispose nuclear waste is recycling. The wastes contain uranium though in low levels. The uranium can be recycled into reactors to produce electricity. The other forms of disposing nuclear wastes include; bullying them deep into the ground and shielding them from water for an extended period until they are radioactively stable.

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