Chapter 22. Radioactive Waste Disposal

Materials that contain radioactive atoms and that are deemed to be of no value are classed as radioactive wastes. They may be natural substances, such as uranium ore residues with isotopes of radium and radon, products of neutron capture, with isotopes such as those of cobalt and plutonium, or fission products, with a great variety of radionuclides. Wastes may be generated as byproducts of national defense efforts, of the operation of commercial electric power plants and their supporting fuel cycle, or of research and medical application at various institutions. The radioactive components of the waste may emit alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and in some cases neutrons, with half-lives of concern ...

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