Nuclear Waste- Causes & Effects

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Nuclear Waste Causes and Effects

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What is Nuclear Waste? Nuclear waste is the material that nuclear fuel becomes after it is used in a reactor. from the outside, it looks exactly like the fuel that was loaded into the reactor — assemblies of metal rods enclosing fuel pellets. but since nuclear reactions have occurred, the contents aren’t quite the same.

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What do we currently do with our nuclear waste? In practice, the spent fuel is never unshielded. It is kept underwater (water is an excellent shield) for A few years until the radiation decays to levels that can be shielded by concrete in large storage casks. Options for final disposal include deep geologic storage and recycling. The sun would consume it nicely if we could get into space, but since rockets are so unreliable, we can’t afford to risk atmospheric dispersal on lift-off.

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Causes of nuclear waste? Nuclear waste comes from a number of sources: Operations conducted by nuclear power stations produce radioactive waste. Nuclear-fuel reprocessing plants in northern europe are the biggest sources of man-made nuclear waste in the surrounding ocean. Mining and refining of uranium and thorium are also causes of marine nuclear waste. Waste is also produced in the nuclear fuel cycle which is used in many industrial, medical and scientific processes.

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Contents of Nuclear waste Heavy metal composition of 4.2% enriched nuclear fuel before and after running for about 3 years (40,000 MWD/MT). Minor actinides include neptunium, americium, and curium. This table does not include structural material such as zirconium and stainless steel.

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What to do with nuclear waste? Currently, nuclear waste created in the US is stored underwater in spent fuel pools near nuclear power plants. Assuming the DOE eventually licenses the yucca mountain repository in Nevada, this waste will eventually be stored deep underground. Since yucca mountain is on the Nevada test site, and since the area is geologically stable, the location is suitable. However, the repository is designed to a certain capacity of nuclear waste. If it ever opens, it will fill quickly thanks to the build-up of waste throughout the last few decades and another repository will need to be constructed. However, there are ways around this.

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Effects Of nuclear waste Accidents Scavenging Transportation Health Effects Expense

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Types of Radioactive Waste High-level waste Intermediate-level waste Low-level waste Mining and Milling Transuranic Waste

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Summary: Nuclear waste is the material that nuclear fuel becomes after it is used in a reactor. from the outside, it looks exactly like the fuel that was loaded into the reactor assemblies of metal rods enclosing fuel pellets. but since nuclear reactions have occurred, the contents aren’t quite the same.

Tags: narendra singh plaha environment specialist nuclear waste

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