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Radioactive Waste

Storage Of Radioactive Waste

Storage can be defined as "a method of containment with a provision for retrieval." High-level and transuranic wastes are typically stored in on-site, deep-water storage ponds with thick, stainless steel-lined concrete walls. After about five years, the spent fuel has lost much of its radioactivity and can be moved into dry storage facilities. These are usually on-site, above-ground facilities in which the waste is stored in thick, concrete canisters.

Low-level waste is stored in concrete cylinders in shallow burial sites at nuclear plants or at designated waste sites. Since these wastes are not as much of a concern as high-level wastes, the regulations for their storage are not as strict. Basically, the waste must be covered and stored so that contact with ambient water is minimal.

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