Radioactive Waste Safety

Nuclear power generally creates a small amount of waste compared to other thermal electricity generation technologies, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less hazardous. The waste in nuclear power is radioactive, which means it needs to be handled and disposed of carefully and correctly by a company who specializes in radioactive waste disposal locally. But what is radioactive waste exactly, and how can we stay safe while handling it? Today, we’re going to talk about just that.

The radioactive symbol for radioactive waste safety.

What is Radioactive Waste?

Radioactive waste is any material that is itself radioactive or has been contaminated by radioactivity. Certain things like nuclear fuel and plutonium are categorized as waste by Government policy. Eventually, all radioactive waste wears down it’s half-lives, the time taken for half of it’s atoms to decay and therefore lose half of it’s radiation, and is no longer as dangerous as it was.

Radioactive waste is produced at all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, though that’s not the only place it is found. The waste is also found in the medical industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and more. It’s best to separate radioactive waste in to a secluded area where it can wear down it’s half-lives without harming anyone.

Common Types of Radioactive Waste

Radioactive material is used in medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, mineral exploration, research, and non-destructive testing. This material leads to radioactive waste, which needs to get disposed of properly by a radioactive waste disposal company in Maryland.

Radioactive waste has different classifications of radioactivity. There’s low-level, intermediate-level, or high-level. Low-level waste comes from mostly from hospitals and industries, and, as implied, the radioactivity level is rather low. Intermediate-level waste is more radioactive that low-level waste and comes from resin, chemical sludge, and metal fuel cladding, along with contaminated materials from reactor decommissioning.

High-level waste requires a more intensive disposal. This waste comes from the burning of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor, and it requires cooling and shielding due to it’s higher levels of radioactivity. High-level waste has long- and short-lived components, and it’s important to separate the two so that the the radioactivity can decrease more easily to the point where it’s considered non-hazardous for people and the surrounding environment.

How You Can Stay Safe

The best way to stay safe around radioactive waste is to keep it separated from the rest of your waste and leave it to the professionals. Broadview Waste Services specializes in radioactive waste disposal in Maryland and can help you manage & dispose of your radioactive waste properly and in accordance to local and federal waste regulations. Call us today to see how we can help you dispose of your waste correctly.