What is radioactive waste used for?

How nuclear waste is stored

There are two key variables in classifying nuclear waste: the initial activity, i.e., the amount of radioactivity that will be released by the waste; and the half-life or half-life, i.e., how long the waste will decay for.

When an accident occurs in these plants, the disaster can be enormous. Radioactivity released in large quantities is lethal, and can also cause malformations and diseases in people living in the area, over several generations.

If the nuclear energy consumed in the world had been replaced by gas, the least polluting of the fossil fuels, it is estimated that some 2,388 million tons of CO2 would have been released into the atmosphere, the equivalent of putting 250 million cars on the road.

Meanwhile, administrations, companies and citizens continue to debate questions such as: Is it worth having more nuclear waste to considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Is the future of sustainability and environmentalism in renewable energies? It is an open debate that leaders must address to ensure the sustainability of our future.

Radioactive waste management in colombia

Radioactive waste is waste containing radioactive chemical elements that have no practical purpose. It is often the by-product of a nuclear process, such as nuclear fission. The waste can also be generated during the fuel process for nuclear reactors or weapons or in medical applications such as radiotherapy or nuclear medicine.

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Thus, when the waste has been characterized as radioactive and, therefore, must be managed as radioactive waste, the licensee of the facility or activity must transfer this waste to Enresa, and establish agreements determining the obligations of each party at each stage of waste management.

A significant danger is generated in the transport of the waste from the nuclear power plants to the centralized temporary storage facility. This transport can only be carried out inside large, extremely resistant metal cylinders.

Types of radioactive waste

The management of radioactive waste comprises all technical and administrative activities from the time it is generated until it is definitively stored, including all intermediate operations of handling, treatment, conditioning and temporary storage, in addition to final disposal. This management must provide the necessary means to ensure that it is carried out without harm to workers, society and the environment.

Radioactive wastes are managed on the basis that the radiation they emit decays over time, and therefore the wastes and associated radiation must remain isolated and confined from living beings and the environment for periods of time appropriate to the decay of their activity.

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Technically, in order to discharge radioactive material into the natural environment, the waste must be of very low activity and a suitable dispersing medium must be available to ensure rapid homogeneity in dispersion. This is possible in the case of liquid and gaseous waste. In the first case it is necessary to have an adequate water mass, and in the second case it is necessary to have adequate conditions at the discharge point, both in terms of location and atmospheric stability. All these discharges or evacuation of waste require in any case the corresponding authorization from the competent administration.

What is radioactive waste?

The management of radioactive waste comprises all technical and administrative activities from the time it is generated until it is definitively stored, including all intermediate operations of handling, treatment, conditioning and temporary storage, in addition to final disposal. This management must provide the necessary means to ensure that it is carried out without harm to workers, society and the environment.

Radioactive wastes are managed on the basis that the radiation they emit decays over time, and therefore the wastes and associated radiation must remain isolated and confined from living beings and the environment for periods of time appropriate to the decay of their activity.

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Technically, in order to discharge radioactive material into the natural environment, the waste must be of very low activity and a suitable dispersing medium must be available to ensure rapid homogeneity in dispersion. This is possible in the case of liquid and gaseous waste. In the first case it is necessary to have an adequate water mass, and in the second case it is necessary to have adequate conditions at the point of discharge, both in terms of location and atmospheric stability. All these discharges or evacuation of waste require in any case the corresponding authorization from the competent administration.