Report on Nuclear Waste
Radioactive wastes are wastes that contain radioactive material. Radioactive wastes are usually by-products of nuclear power generation and other applications of nuclear fission or nuclear technology, such as research and medicine. Radioactive waste is hazardous to most forms of life and the environment, and is regulated by government agencies in order to protect human health and the environment. Radioactive waste comes from a number of sources. The majority of waste originates from the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear weapons reprocessing. Other sources include medical and industrial wastes, as well as naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) that can be concentrated as a result of the processing or consumption of coal, oil and gas, and some minerals.
Radioactivity naturally decays over time, so radioactive waste has to be isolated and confined in appropriate disposal facilities for a sufficient period of time until it no longer poses a hazard. The period of time waste must be stored depends on the type of waste and radioactive isotopes. It can range from a few days for very short-lived isotopes to millions of years for spent nuclear fuel. Current major approaches to managing radioactive waste have been segregation and storage for short-lived waste, near-surface disposal for low and some intermediate level waste, and deep burial or transmutation for the high-level waste.
2. Types of Nuclear Waste
* Exempt Waste & Very Low Level Waste
Exempt Waste and Very Low Level Waste (VLLW) contains radioactive materials at a level which is not considered harmful to people or the surrounding environment. It consists mainly of demolished material such as concrete, plaster, bricks, metal, and valves produced during rehabilitation or dismantling operations on nuclear industrial sites. Other industries, such as food processing, chemical, steel also produce VLLW as a result of the concentration of natural...