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Radioactive Waste

Types Of Radioactive Waste, Storage Of Radioactive Waste, Transportation Of Radioactive Waste, Treatment Of Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste is generated during the production of electricity by nuclear power plants, by the eventual disposal of those facilities, and during the manufacturing and disposal of nuclear weapons and machines used in medical diagnosis and treatments, academic and industrial research, and certain industrial applications. Radioactive waste produces ionizing radiation, which can damage or destroy living tissues. Ionizing radiation transfers energy when it encounters biochemicals, causing them to become electrically charged, or ionized, which can damage their essential metabolic function.

Unlike conventionally toxic chemicals, the degree of danger from radioactive waste decreases over time. The half-life of a radioactive substance (or radioisotope) is the time required for one-half of an initial quantity to decay to other isotopes. Each radioisotope has a unique half-life, which can be only fractions of a second long, or as great as billions of years. The longer the half-life of a radioisotope, the longer is the period for which it must be safely stored or disposed until it is no longer hazardous.

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