• Nuclear Waste
• How It Works
• Types and Categories of Nuclear Waste
• Potentials to Harm the Environment
• Procedures to Remove the Wastes
• Effectiveness of the Procedures
• Nuclear waste is the radioactive waste produced by nuclear reactors, or left over
from research projects, medical uses, and the manufacture of nuclear weapons It
High-level Waste (HLW),
Intermediate Waste (ILW)
Low-level Waste (LLW)
• The nuclear wastes are composed of a combination of uranium, plutonium, and
other radioactive elements such as neptunium, americium, curium, etc.
How Nuclear fuel is used
• After the mining, the uranium ores are ground in the water to produce
slurry fine particles under water. Then the slurry is leached with sulfuric
acid to dissolve the uranium oxide concentrate U3O8 and then take them.
• Uranium oxide concentrate U3O8 turned into uranium hexafluoride (UF6)
by “enrichment process” and keeps them in the nuclear power reactors.
• UF6 will be transported into the fuel fabrication plant and converted into
UO2 powder and pressed into small pellets. Then inserted into thin tube to
form rods about 7 m long.
How Nuclear fuel is Used
• The rods are taken into a room where they stored into water-filled vaults
to maintain the rods’ temperature from over heating .
• Moved to air tight sealed containers and transport to dry containers.
– Heating water to make steam (nuclear fission occurred), burn turbines, generator
on, and produced the power for electricity, etc.
• Used fuel would be stored underground and recycled it.
Categories of Nuclear waste
• There are 3 main categories of radioactive waste :
High Level Waste (HLW) by 3% Volume, it contains 95% of
Produced by the nuclear power plant (fuel fission from the
Uranium milling residues, and waste with greater than specified quantities
of elements heavier than uranium.
Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) by 7% Volume, it contains 4% of
Ion exchange resins and filter materials used to clean water at a nuclear
Low Level Waste (LLW) by 90% of Volume, it contains 1% of
Medical Equipment (containers, cloth, paper, fluids, and equipment which
came in contact with radioactive materials)
Contaminated hand tools, components, piping, and other equipment from
nuclear power plants and other industries, etc.
Potential to harm the environment
• It radioactive waste is potentially dangerous because they emit ionizing
radiation, which can damage to human health such as; produce mutations
and birth defects, and cause cancer. The degree of risk depends upon the
level, and type, of radioactivity, with some materials being very hazardous
in raw form, and others posing little threat in most circumstances.
Procedures to remove Radioactive wastes
High Level Waste (HWL)
• Deep Geological Disposal
The principle of geological disposal is to isolate the waste deep inside a suitable
host formation, e.g. granite, salt or clay. The waste is placed in an underground
facility or disposal facility, designed to ensure that a system of natural and multiple
artificial barriers work together to prevent radioactivity from escaping. Placed in
dry barrels with air conditioner or in the barrel put water. It because water used to
cool down the fuel and it works to protect workers from the radiations. It will lost
its radiation in about 10 years by 90 %. It also can be recycled.
• Notre Dame Thorium Borate-1 (NTDB-1)
It is a new invention of 2012 by Notre Dame University. It is a crystalline compound
that can be tailored to safely absorb radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams.
It traps both Tc-99 (technetium, half-life 220,000 years) and I-129 (Iodine-129) and
half-life 15.7 million years, Their unique electronic properties lead to applications
in a wide variety of areas ranging from magnetism to catalysis. By testing this
substance into Tc-99, it removes 70%-90% of the radiation.
Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) and Low Level Waste (LLW)
The disposal between intermediate and low level waste are pretty similar.
Only the Intermediate level disposal is going to be close to the
surface, about 18 m down placed in a concrete and sealed it in steel
drums. The low level disposal could be just open on the surface. Also for
the low disposal could be a normal waste after 15 years.
• Bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens
• Be able to clean up toxins, oil spills, and nuclear waste by eating it. This
procedure is still not sure. These bacteria have structure called the pilus, a
hair like appendage that acts like wire. Through this, it transfers electrons
via the pilus to the metals that they feed off of. These bacteria lives near
nuclear waste of uranium.
• Sulfide sponge:
– Strontium-90 is a particularly harmful component of nuclear waste with a half-life
of about 30 years. But finding Sr2+ ions is like searching for a needle in a haystack:
non-radioactive ions of sodium (Na+) and calcium (Ca2+) are a million times more
numerous, positively charged and around the same size. Sulfide sponge used a
layered metal sulfide called KMS-1 containing potassium, manganese and tin. This
material is a simple ion-exchanger, capable of swapping potassium ions for heavier
ones - and then holding onto them.
• They tested KMS-1, which looks like a brown powder, by packing it into porous
bags similar to tea bags. When they dipped the bag into a sodium-rich solution
of strontium - resembling the conditions in nuclear waste - it removed 99.8 per
cent of the strontium.
Effectiveness of the procedures
• Generally, disposal is the regular procedure that is used by the nuclear
powered countries these days. However, by finding new fastest and
effective ways to remove the radiations like the sulfide sponge or Notre
Dame Thorium Borate-1 would also helping the radioactive waste
• Nuclear Waste is a really dangerous waste because it contains high
radiation that can damage human health. It is categorized as
high, intermediate, and lo level of waste.
• High level waste produced by the nuclear weapon, and the nuclear power
plant. Intermediate level wastes produced by water filter that is used to
keep the rods cold.
• The procedures such as deep disposal for high, and regular disposal for
low and intermediate. New procedures such as Sulfide sponge and NDTB-1
and Bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens.