Environmental Hazard of Radioactive Wastes

by Joe O. Ledbetter,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1965, Vol. 91, Issue 1, Pg. 59-68

Document Type: Journal Paper


Radioactive wastes may be disposed of by dilution to acceptable environmental levels, by storage for decay (maybe hundreds of years), or by reclamation to useful products. Storage for decay is the principal method of disposal. Economical storage usually requires pre-treatment to reduce the volume or to change the phase, or both. Throughout the handling, treatment, and storage, engineering safeguards must be applied to prevent health hazards—hazards that range from only possible genetic changes in future generations to the rapidly fatal supralethal dose of criticality accidents. Precautions must be taken to prevent leakage of stored liquids, leaching of stored solids, and concentration of diluted environmental wastes.

Subject Headings: Environmental issues | Radioactive wastes | Waste storage | Dilution | Decomposition | Waste disposal | Solid wastes | Economic factors

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