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Radioactive Waste Management: Indian scenario

 

Tackling radioactive wastes efficiently

Any activity related to the nuclear fuel cycle, that produces or uses radioactive materials generates radioactive waste. The management of radiation emitting radioactive material is a matter of concern and is what sets nuclear wastes apart.
Public acceptance of nuclear energy largely depends on the public assurance for safe management of radioactive wastes. Not all nuclear wastes are particularly hazardous or hard to manage as compared to other toxic industrial wastes.  
It is also a time of heightened global concern about nuclear energy after the earthquake and the fear of the radioactive releases from the affected damaged reactors in Japan. In accordance with international guidelines, a coherentcomprehensive and consistent set of principles and standards are being practiced all over the world for waste management system.

Understanding radioactive wastes

Radioactive wastes are generated during various operations of the nuclear fuel cycle. Mining, nuclear power generation, and various processes in industry, defense, medicine and scientific research produce byproducts that include radioactive wastes.

Radioactive waste can be in gas, liquid or solid form, and its level of radioactivity can vary. The waste can remain radioactive for a few hours or several months or even hundreds of thousands of years. Depending on the level and nature of radioactivity, radioactive wastes can be classified as exempt waste, Low & Intermediate level waste and High Level Waste
 
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