An introduction to the issue of storing radioactive waste

Radioactive Waste Management Updated April Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology that takes full responsibility for all its waste and fully costs this into the product. The amount of waste generated by nuclear power is very small relative to other thermal electricity generation technologies. Used nuclear fuel may be treated as a resource or simply as waste. Nuclear waste is neither particularly hazardous nor hard to manage relative to other toxic industrial waste.

An introduction to the issue of storing radioactive waste

Risks Posed by High Level Wastes

Front end[ edit ] Waste from the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle is usually alpha-emitting waste from the extraction of uranium. It often contains radium and its decay products. Uranium dioxide UO2 concentrate from mining is a thousand or so times as radioactive as the granite used in buildings.

It is refined from yellowcake U3O8then converted to uranium hexafluoride gas UF6. As a gas, it undergoes enrichment to increase the U content from 0. It is then turned into a hard ceramic oxide UO2 for assembly as reactor fuel elements. It is stored, either as UF6 or as U3O8. Some is used in applications where its extremely high density makes it valuable such as anti-tank shellsand on at least one occasion even a sailboat keel.

An introduction to the issue of storing radioactive waste

These isotopes are formed in nuclear reactors. It is important to distinguish the processing of uranium to make fuel from the reprocessing of used fuel. Used fuel contains the highly radioactive products of fission see high level waste below.

Many of these are neutron absorbers, called neutron poisons in this context. These eventually build up to a level where they absorb so many neutrons that the chain reaction stops, even with the control rods completely removed. At that point the fuel has to be replaced in the reactor with fresh fuel, even though there is still a substantial quantity of uranium and plutonium present.

In the United States, this used fuel is usually "stored", while in other countries such as Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and India, the fuel is reprocessed to remove the fission products, and the fuel can then be re-used. While these countries reprocess the fuel carrying out single plutonium cycles, India is the only country known to be planning multiple plutonium recycling schemes.

Introduction

Long-lived fission product Activity of U for three fuel types. In the case of MOX, the U increases for the first thousand years as it is produced by decay of Np which was created in the reactor by absorption of neutrons by U Total activity for three fuel types.

In region 1 we have radiation from short-lived nuclides, and in region 2 from Sr and Cs On the far right we see the decay of Np and U The use of different fuels in nuclear reactors results in different spent nuclear fuel SNF composition, with varying activity curves.

Long-lived radioactive waste from the back end of the fuel cycle is especially relevant when designing a complete waste management plan for SNF.Radioactive waste management: nuclear power is the only energy-producing technology which takes full responsibility for all its wastes (radwastes) including nuclear waste disposal, management of radioactive waste and fully costs this into the product.

An introduction to the issue of storing radioactive waste

Disposal of Nuclear Waste: Methods and Concerns Xi Xie March 25, the use of nuclear power is limited. In this work the current methods of nuclear waste disposal and issue associated with them are reviewed.

This is a relatively inexpensive way for storing radioactive waste. It doesn't require special location and transportation.

Radioactive waste is a waste product containing radioactive decay material. It is usually the product of a nuclear process such as nuclear fission, though industries not directly connected to the nuclear power|nuclear power industry may also produce radioactive waste. Radioactivity diminishes over. In this section we will highlight the four major problems: storing radioactive waste, safety, weapons proliferation and terrorism, and health. Storing radioactive waste One of the most serious and persistent problems of nuclear power is what to do with radioactive waste. In this article, materials issues in the management of nuclear waste, including its generation, processing, storage, transport, and disposal, are examined for low-level and high-level waste, with an emphasis on the aspects of their immobilization and long-term isolation.

In this section we will highlight the four major problems: storing radioactive waste, safety, weapons proliferation and terrorism, and health. Storing radioactive waste One of the most serious and persistent problems of nuclear power is what to do with radioactive waste. In this article, materials issues in the management of nuclear waste, including its generation, processing, storage, transport, and disposal, are examined for low-level and high-level waste, with an emphasis on the aspects of their immobilization and long-term isolation.

The storing and reprocessing are further complicated by the long half life of the radioactive materials in the nuclear waste. For example, some of the components can remtain half of their dangerous levels even one million years later after production.

[3]. Radioactive wastes, must for the protection of mankind be stored or disposed in such a manner that isolation from the biosphere is assured until they have decayed to innocuous levels.

If this is not done, the world could face severe physical problems to living species living on thi.

7 Other problems associated with nuclear power | Wise International