Are Nuclear Waste Sites Something To Worry About?

The procedure of harnessing nuclear energy is not only complex, but also risky, as it involves the radioactivity of uranium with many neutrons to produce energy. Besides, the ramifications of the radioactive emissions into the atmosphere being threatening, also a potential concern about the large amount of nuclear waste disposal is there are many regions of the world. There are many safer ways to dispose the waste, however the delay in the disposal at the nuclear waste sites happens due to political interests can inhibit the process as it can lead to higher accumulation of waste like in case of many areas of U.S.A which can be some reason to worry about.

Safe and systematic waste disposal methods

There are 4 major types of waste generated in nuclear reactors, very low level waste, low level waste, intermediate level and high level waste. The very low level waste is not harmful in nature and mainly consists of concrete, plastic, bricks, metals of the demolished nuclear power plants which are thrown away with the normal domestic waste.

The low level waste have only one percent of radioactive elements which have transitory presence and include the radioactive shields like protective clothing, flexible HEPA Grade Filters, papers, woollen blankets, etc which are normally incinerated and hence easy to dispose off. The Intermediate level wastes are reactive radioactive elements like chemicals, resins, nuclear radiation shielding equipments which have comparatively higher shelf life.

High level wastes are the ash remains from the uranium reactions. These need to be disposed off carefully as the high radioactivity, around 95% is many times long lived like anticinides. The used fuel and the fission by-products like depleted uranium are waste, however can be reprocessed for use in many practical applications like use in military projectiles, etc.

The recycling of the major waste is conducted which also leaves with a small amount of waste. The recycling of steel of the gas plants with low levels of radioactivity is common. Coal ash is the highest waste in terms of quantity. The deep underground disposal is common method for nuclear uranium ash. These are first placed in cooling pools to cool down the radioactive activities in it.

New and safe methods of disposal- less cause of worry

The storage of interim and low level waste of the nuclear reactors is many times done in shock absorbing containers before the geological land based disposal. Nowadays, many studies and ideas of throwing the high reaction nuclear waste has been made with both feasible nuclear waste sites options like trapping the waste in rocks and making it melt, disposal under the sea bed or in the ice sheets and many such methods. The risk of theft of the waste needs to be curbed with safe and secured disposal which disallows manufacturing of nuclear weapons from these, especially plutonium and uranium which can lead to nuclear wars and be dangerous to the human race. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is taking all measures to ensure traditional methods of disposal are not followed. Environmentally sound methods need to be thus, adopted to ensure the safety of the employees and also the public from the toxicity emanated.


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