Essay on nuclear waste, it's problems, and possible solutions good, should be updated
Nuclear waste is one of the most pressing and provocative
environmental issues of our time. This radioactive waste, which
remains deadly for thousands of years, is incredibly difficult to
deal with. Unfortunately, time is running short for a solution, as
a growing number of reactors, (111 in the United States alone),
radioactive remnants of Cold War weapons, and increasing medical
uses of radioactivity will soon create enough waste to exceed the
current holding capacity for radioactive materials.
There are two types of nuclear waste. The first is low-level
radioactive waste, which contains small amounts of radioactivity.
This sort of waste usually comes from medical facilities and
pharmaceutical companies and includes clothing, test tubes, and all
kinds of diagnostic waste. The other kind, which is of most
concern, is high-level radioactive waste, which is created when
reactor fuel is mined and processed and when atoms are split in
reactors. This 'hot' waste includes spent uranium fuel rods and
the liquid waste produced when those rods are dissolved in acid to
make plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Disposing of low-level waste presents difficulties, but not
insurmountable ones. As of now, it is shipped to special disposal
sites in the United States. Expectedly, the public is not pleased
to have any type of radioactive waste in their own backyards, even
the relatively harmless low-level trash. The main obstacle in
dealing with this type is to educate the public, which tends to
equate anything radioactive with that of the highly dangerous,
nuclear fuel cycle variety. Without good information, the people
will always fear anything remotely connected with nuclear power and
will continue to incorrectly liken what goes on in an X-ray
laboratory with what goes on in a plutonium...