Nuclear waste

Essay by jasmin8008College, UndergraduateB, October 2006

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

What are the main issues surrounding nuclear waste?

-types of nuclear waste (page66)


Effects of nuclear radiations

-problems of disposal

Chernovil 1936

To answer to this question first I am going to give a definition of nuclear waste:

Nuclear waste its knows as any waste that results from using radioactive materials for purposes that include electricity production by nuclear power plants, defence activities and nuclear weapons manufacture, medical treatment, nuclear research, industrial processes, and mining and milling of uranium. It occurs when unstable nuclei of atoms decay and emit particles. These particles may have high energy and can have bad effects on living tissue.

There are many types of radiation:

* Alpha Decay: The reason alpha decay occurs is because the nucleus has too many protons which cause excessive repulsion. In an attempt to reduce the repulsion, a Helium nucleus is emitted. The way it works is that the Helium nuclei are in constant collision with the walls of the nucleus and because of its energy and mass; there exists a nonzero probability of transmission.

* Beta Decay: occurs when the neutron to proton ratio is too great in the nucleus and causes instability. In basic beta decay, a neutron is turned into a proton and an electron. The electron is then emitted.

* Gamma Decay: occurs because the nucleus is at too high an energy. The nucleus falls down to a lower energy state and, in the process, emits a high energy photon known as a gamma particle.

Radioactive waste is divided into three main types, classified according to their activity, their heat generation potential, and what they physically contain. These three main levels are low level waste (LLW), transuranic waste (TRU), and high level waste (HLW).

Low-Level Waste

Low-level waste (LLW) is a term used to describe...