As a follow on to the meme that I posted last week for #Atoms4Earth, here's some more facts about radioactive waste that you should know. People often question "the waste problem" when talking about expanding nuclear energy. The reality is that nuclear power takes care of all of its waste, unlike coal and natural gas, which release much of their waste to the atmosphere. The amount of waste for nuclear is also much smaller than you think because reactors are only refueled once every 18 months on average.
- Nuclear power is the only large-scale energy-producing technology which takes full responsibility for all its wastes and fully costs this into the product.
- The amount of radioactive wastes is very small relative to wastes produced by fossil fuel electricity generation.
- Used nuclear fuel may be treated as a resource or simply as a waste.
- Nuclear wastes are neither particularly hazardous nor hard to manage relative to other toxic industrial wastes.
- Safe methods for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste are technically proven; the international consensus is that this should be geological disposal.
What questions do you have about radioactive waste?