Radioactive wastes are wastes that contain radioactive
Various operations of the nuclear fuel cycle.
nuclear power generation
various processes in industry, defense, medicine
5. Very low level waste (VLLW)
consists mainly of demolished material (such as
concrete, plaster, bricks, metal, valves, piping etc.)
produced during dismantling operations on
nuclear industrial sites.
Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials
Not harmful to humans or environment
recycling or using as byproducts
6. Low-level waste (LLW)
diagnosis and treatment of disease
testing of new pharmaceuticals
nondestructive testing of airplanes and bridges
hardening of materials like hardwood flooring
breeding of new varieties of seed with higher crop yields
eradication of insect pests
11. High level waste(HLW)
Arises from the 'burning' of uranium fuel in a
Produced during reprocessing of used fuel.
12. Used nuclear fuel
Most used fuel from nuclear power plants is stored in
steel-lined concrete pools filled with water, or in airtight
steel or concrete-and-steel containers
13. Storage pond for used fuel at
the Thermal Oxide
Reprocessing Plant at the
UK's Sellafield site
7-12 metres deep
The multiple racks are made of metal with
neutron absorbers incorporated in it
The circulating water both shields and cools
Made of thick reinforced concrete with steel
15. Deep geological disposal
A key idea was that long-term
disposal would be best carried out by
identifying suitable sites at which the
waste could be buried, a process
called deep geological disposal.
It must be located at least 200 m
below the ground surface to avoid
the effects of erosion and human
Direct disposal (after storage) to a geological repository.
It takes 300,000 years
Aqueous reprocessing to remove only uranium and
plutonium. It take 9000 years.
Advanced electrometallurgical reprocessing which
removes uranium, plutonium and minor actinides
together for recycling in a fast reactor. It takes only
300years. (not commercialy available).
Disposal of radioactive waste is a complex issue, not only
because of the nature of the waste, but also because of the
stringent regulatory structure for dealing with radioactive
India has achieved self-reliance in the management of all
type of radioactive waste.
An ongoing effort to upgrade technology to minimize
radioactive discharge is also on.