Radioactive waste

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AliciaSmith
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What are the problems of dealing with radioactive waste?
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Joinedup
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This should get you started... http://www.nda.gov.uk/ukinventory/ab...te-classified/
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AliciaSmith
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(Original post by Joinedup)
This should get you started... http://www.nda.gov.uk/ukinventory/ab...te-classified/
Thank you so much for helping me!
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Kallisto
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(Original post by AliciaSmith)
What are the problems of dealing with radioactive waste?
Strictly speaking and from the view of human organisms, its very biohazardous. The radioactive rays of the waste, in form of alpha and beta decay and gamma ray, are ionising radiation which are able to break the DNA strand and causing mutations in a cell which leads to cancer after a while. That is why this waste (exactlier: the radioactivity of it) has to be stored safely from people's environment. And there is the problem to deal with: alpha decay can be stopped by a sheet of paper, as it has not such a strong penetration through material. In terms of gamma rays, people need thick coats of plump to stop the penetration in a certain degree, but not completely. Another risk of radioactive waste is that the material of containers getting weaker thanks to the radioactive rays (which destroy the atomic structure by ionising it), that is to say it comes to leaks where the radioactivity sneaks out. The great problem is the half period: As a rule radioactive waste contains uranium and plutonium where it lasts billions (!) of years til the radioactivity is decreased to the half. And so people have to store radioactive waste over this long period of many billions of years to prevent that it harms the environment and the people around it.
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