In consideration to the primary objective of protecting human health, environment and future generations, the overall philosophy for safe management of radioactive wastes in India, is based on the concept of *Delay and Delay *Dilute and Disperse *Concentrate and Contain.
Effective management involves segregation, characterization, handling, treatment, conditioning and monitoring prior to final disposal.
Proper disposal is essential to ensure protection of the health and safety of the public and quality of the environment including air, soil, and water supplies.
Radiological hazards associated with short lived wastes <30 years half life get significantly reduced over a few hundred years by radioactive decay. The high level wastes contain large concentration of both short and long lived radionuclide’s, warranting high degree of isolation from the biosphere and usually calls for final disposal into geological formation (repository)
A key idea was that long-term disposal would be best carried out by identifying suitable sites at which the waste could be buried, a process called deep geological disposal
Low level waste is comparatively easy to dispose of. The level of radioactivity and the half life of the radioactive isotopes in low level waste are relatively small. Storing the waste for a period of 10 to 50 years will allow most of the radioactive isotopes in low level waste to decay, at which point the waste can be disposed of as normal refuse.
In Solid waste substantial amount of LIL wastes of diverse nature, gets generated in different nuclear installations. Treatment and conditioning of solid wastes are practiced, to reduce the waste volume in ways, compatible to minimizing the mobility of the contained radioactive materials. A wide range of treatment and conditioning processes are available today with mature industrial operations involving several interrelated steps and diverse technologies. A brief summary of the various radioactive waste management practices followed in India has been presented below.