Disposing Of Radioactive Waste From Meagan Carrier

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Disposing of Radioactive Waste
Meagan Carrier
April 10, 2015
EESC 323
Dr. Yuan Chen

The human population has continued to exceed seven billion people as of 2012. This large increase in population has created substantial alterations to earth’s environment and created heavy reliance on nonrenewable resources it provides us. Currently the human population consumes nonrenewable resources at an unsustainable rate. If this consumption continues to be unsustainable it will lead to the depletion or loss of the resources that we currently rely largely on. The use of natural resources generates waste products (Faure, 1998), and as nonrenewable resources continue to be of high demand they will create increased amounts of
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Repositories After removing radioactive waste from nuclear reactors it can take over 10,000 years for it return to it’s safe ore grade (Faure, 1998). Since long periods of time are required to decrease the waste’s radioactivity, it must be stored in a place where it can be confined from the biosphere (Faure, 1998). Currently the safest place to store radioactive waste is in underground repositories because they can withstand the radioactive heat generated from the waste, and have the ability to prevent contamination into groundwater (Faure, 1998). There are many advantages for using underground repositories. One is that the host rock can absorb and dissipate the heat generated from the radioactive waste (Faure, 1998). Another is that repositories do no require maintenance because once they are closed they must remain sealed (Faure, 1998). Although the repository must remain sealed, an addition advantage is that the radioactive waste can be retrieved if it must be removed in the future (Faure, 1998). Lastly, the construction of repositories is feasible and they are flexible because they can be build in different kind of host rocks (Faure, 1998). However the only drawbacks to underground repositories is that lots of studies and research must be completed in order to know the stability and all the geochemical processes that occur in
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