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NUCLEAR WASTE via Manila Bulletin Publishing Corpration

IN my two previous articles, one irrevocable dilemma focused on safe disposal of nuclear waste.  Storing used fuel rods from nuclear power reactors is one problem that remains unsolved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  Nuclear waste in the US comes from: 1) nuclear weapons production facilities, 2) nuclear power plants, 3) medical equipment previously used in radiation treatments, 4) industrial sources of radioactivity used as a more powerful alternative to X-rays, and 5) residues from uranium mining.

Two waste levels

Nuclear waste is often grouped into two categories, labeled “low-level” and “high-level.”  Low-level waste is slightly radioactive, often from exposure to a high-level source.  High-level waste is often grouped as either civilian, mainly spent fuel from nuclear reactors, or military, wastes produced in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

The problem with nuclear waste is that it is radioactive and can remain that way for years – in some cases thousands of years.  Early methods of disposal included dumping the wastes at sea and suspending them in a liquid or in cement and injecting the radioactive combination into wells.

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