Waste and Energy

Essay by rlmarshUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2010

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Waste and Energy � PAGE �1�

Waste and Energy

Waste and Energy

The consumption habits of modern consumer lifestyles are causing a huge worldwide waste problem. Having overfilled local landfill capacities, many first world nations are now exporting their refuse to third world countries. This is having a devastating impact on ecosystems and cultures throughout the world. This paper will look at alternative energy and the exploration of energy technology and the potential for recycling the wastes that are produced

Nuclear Waste

Any activity that produces or uses radioactive materials generates radioactive waste. Mining, nuclear power generation, and various processes in industry, defense, medicine, and scientific research produce byproducts that include radioactive waste. Radioactive waste can be in gas, liquid or solid form, and its level of radioactivity can vary. The waste can remain radioactive for a few hours or several months or even hundreds of thousands of years. Because it can be so hazardous and can remain radioactive for such an extended length of time, finding suitable disposal facilities for radioactive waste is difficult.

Proper disposal is essential to ensure protection of the health and safety of the public and quality of the environment including air, soil, and water supplies since depending on the type of waste disposed the disposal facility may need to contain the radiation for a long time.

Disposal of radioactive waste is a complex issue, not only because of the nature of the waste, but also because of the complicated regulatory structure for dealing with radioactive waste. There are a variety of stakeholders affected, and there are a number of regulatory entities involved. Federal government agencies involved in radioactive waste management include: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Transportation (...