Radioactive environment consists of the radioactive sources which generate radioactive waste. There are many guidelines on radioactive waste management and it is also mandatory for the sources of the radioactive waste to ensure the safe disposal of the waste. The radioactive waste consists of trace amounts of radioactive material that are still active and emit radiation.
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The radioactivity dies down over a period of time and the substance becomes neutral, till that time it has be stored safely. To prevent any exposure from the waste which can be potentially fatal.Radioactive Waste Sources:radioactive sourcesThe sources of radioactive waste are:Nuclear fuel cycle: The front end of the nuclear cycle usually provides low level waste which emits alpha and some beta radiation. These can be stored in near surface pits.
The back end of nuclear fuel cycle gives out a combination of low level and high level wastes that are to be segregated and disposed. The high level waste is buried deep into earth.The spent nuclear fuel consists of actinides which are radioactive material with long half-life’s as long as a few hundred million years. These are transmuted to form inactive compounds or stable elements and stored safely.Some military sources of nuclear waste like the ones from nuclear weapons are recycled and used as fuel. This is because there are chances of proliferation if buried underground.
Nuclear weapons that are decommissioned have low active radiation which mostly emit alpha and beta rays and are taken through verification process for safe storage.Medical waste: The radioactive material used for medical treatment of certain types of lymphoma and thyroid cancer is of low activity. They can be stored till all the radiation is emitted and disposed of as normal waste.Industrial nuclear waste contains material that emits all the three types of radiation and is used in radiography and in several applications like oil well logging.Nuclear waste environment should be well segregated and marked in order to prevent exposure to radiation and its harmful effects.