What is nuclear waste you might ask? Well it is the radioactive waste left over from nuclear reactors, nuclear research projects, and nuclear bomb production. Radioactive means that it gives off energy. Nuclear waste is dangerously radioactive, and can stay radioactive for thousands of years. The waste is divided into low, medium, and high-level waste by the amount of radioactivity the waste produces. The average amount of radioactivity nuclear waste has is 1% high level waste, 19% medium level waste and 80% low-level waste. It is very dangerous, and should not be handled by anyone without professional training!
Nuclear waste is very bad for the environment and our health. It damages
living cells and can affect cell division, and if you become exposed to large
doses of radiation it can cause severe illness, cancer and other health effects,
and in some cases death. The larger the dose, the higher you’re at risk. When nuclear
waste first comes out of a reactor, it is so toxic that if you stood within a few
meters of it while nothing was covering it, you would receive a lethal radioactive
dose in a couple of seconds and would die of Radiation Sickness in a few days.
Because nuclear waste is extremely dangerous people who work at nuclear power stations have to wear special suits for protection.
There are many ways to deal with nuclear waste, though I'm only going to briefly talk about three including their disadvantages. The first is “Sub-seabed disposal” which is burying radioactive waste in the ocean floor; the disadvantage of this would be the possible risk of containers leaking releasing radioactive material into the water
damaging marine life. The second method is “Very deep-hole disposal” which is placing
high-level radioactive waste containers as deep as 10,000 meters underground,
but there is always a risk of an earth quake accruing rupturing the containers
and causing them to leak. The radioactive material from the spill would eventually end up in an underground water stream leading to more major problems. The last method I’m going to talk about is “Space disposal” which would be launching waste
containers into space and putting them on the moon. Space disposal would be
great because it would keep away the waste from our environment. Although space
disposal would be very risky, if an accident accrued during the launch of the
rocket and caused it to crash then the radioactive waste would scatter across a large area causing a lot of damage to the environment.
So, how do humans affect our environment? Well we've created a new useful type of energy called nuclear power, but unfortunately it produces nuclear waste which is extremely bad to us and our environment. Not only does it produce dangerous waste, but also the nuclear power plants we’ve built produce a lot of smoke. That smoke will make global warming even worse. So humans have caused great damage to our planet in many ways, and one of them is nuclear waste.
How can we help stop nuclear waste? Well we might not be able to necessarily stop nuclear waste, but we can all help reduce it by doing small things such as turning off all electrical appliances and lights when not in use and using cold water to wash your clothes
instead of hot water in a washing machine. If we can all do these small things and
many more, then we can save a lot of energy and hopefully reduce the demand for
nuclear power. The less nuclear power we use the less nuclear waste is
Finally to end this article I would like to clarify that you will not turn into a radioactive monster if exposed to radiation! Thank you for reading this article.