Revise GCSE Physics


Question:How is nuclear waste disposed of?

Low level waste is disposed in special land fill sites.

Nuclear waste cannot simply be disposed of, because it remains radioactive for a very long period of time.

High-level nuclear waste is stored in pools of water initially because the material is hot, and the water absorbs most of the radiation.

Once the material has cooled sufficiently it can be encased in glass and stored in specially designed metal containers which are then stored at special facilities.

These storage facilities will need to be maintained for thousands of years to make sure that none of the waste ever leaks out or is stolen by terrorists.

Some High level waste is reprocessed, which reduced the total amount of waste produced each year, but reusing material that would otherwise need storing. Reprocessing is very expensive and dangerous.

The specification summarises the ways of disposing of nuclear waste as:

Low level waste in land-fill sites.

HLW encased in glass and left underground.

Some HLW reprocessed.