Nuclear power is one of the important energy sources, a technology that takes full responsibility for wastes and costs involved in the project. The wastes generated in nuclear energy projects is quite minimal compared to costs involved in other projects such as fossil fuel energy generation.
However, radioactive wastes no matter how small is a matter for concern and must be stored and disposed off effectively. The consensus on safe disposal of radioactive wastes is through geological means according to universal studies conducted the world over.
During generation of nuclear energy, every phase involves some amount of waste generation which must be tackled effectively. The cost of managing and effectively disposing this is self-managed, proven, and effective. Technologies that are available for management of nuclear waste products have been thoroughly researched.
With nuclear wastes, an important factor is that with time the toxicity of the waste undergoes a natural reduction, which is not the case with toxic industrial effluents, which remain highly poisonous. Eventually all of the radioactive nuclear waste materials will decay into harmless non-nuclear elements.
Many countries build geological repositories as the nuclear waste amounts increase and the main objective at all times is to effective nuclear waste disposal, so as to reduce the harm that may occur to people all around the globe. There are different categories of nuclear wastes, which come from various sectors.
The first category is called low-level wastes. These come from industries and hospitals and mostly have short-lived radioactivity. They don’t require shielding during handling and are suitable for burial in shallow land. Intermediate level wastes may sometimes require shielding while handling and are solidified in concrete for disposal.
High-level wastes are from burning of uranium in nuclear reactors. The US Department of Energy is seeking interim storage facilities for depositing high-level nuclear wastes and some communities are open to a consent-based approach to build such storage repositories.