Do you live near a nuclear power plant, and use electricity derived from nuclear power? Today, several industries use radioactive materials for various applications such as scientific research, nuclear power programs, defense programs, and medical operations.
Overview of nuclear waste classification in effect in the United States
In the United States, there are four categories of radioactive waste. Spent fuel from reactors that produce electricity is classified as high-level waste (HLW). This classification includes liquid and solid waste, which are byproducts of spent fuel reprocessing procedures.
The biggest volume of waste produced is under the low-level waste category. The other two categories are uranium mill tailings and transuranic waste or TRU. All the waste products of nuclear processes must be disposed of properly regardless of category.
Abiding by the rules
To ensure that radioactive products don’t cause irreversible harm to your community, nuclear waste disposal services in the United Sates abide by the regulations the authorities impose. There are specific rules governing waste treatment, packaging, storage and transport, as well as disposal. Nuclear waste may cause health concerns, which is why proper waste management is necessary.
International agreement on nuclear wastes
There is an international agreement about radioactive waste disposal. While suppliers of uranium handle the safe transport of the material as it makes its way to end users, the country that uses it takes care of the disposal.
There are security measures in place to ensure that uranium and plutonium use is for energy production, not for armaments. All the countries who signed the NPT or Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1997 should practice proper handling of nuclear waste. This treaty also covers wastes produced in research facilities.
The authorities remind about the collection, storage, transportation, and disposal of all types of nuclear waste. This is the only way to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. Make sure you comply with the law when handling nuclear waste.