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Environment > Pollution > Nuclear waste: Countries Compared

Author: Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Author: Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Spent fuel is an environmental concern as radioactivity can cause serious health effects

including: cancers, birth defects, sterility, genetic damage and lowered immunity to

diseases especially at high levels of exposure.



Uranium arrives at a nuclear power plant in the form of pellets which are

bundled together to form a fuel assembly. When the assembly no longer produces enough

energy, the pellets are replaced. The used-up pellets are called 'spent-fuel'.



Spent fuel is highly radioactive and needs to be isolated from people and the enviroment

for around 10 000 years. After this time the radiation level has reduced and the waste is

considered safe. Spent fuel is usually contained in concrete or steel containers, or in

cooling pools.



Spent fuel can be reprocessed to extract and recycle Uranium and plutonium. Great

Britain, France, Japan and Germany currently reprocess some of their nuclear waste.



To gain a more thorough overview of sources of pollution and their comparative amounts,

other sources of enviromnental pollution such as
href=/graph/env_pol_car_dio_fro_fos_fue_200>Carbon dioxide
,
href=/graph/env_pol_sul_oxi_per_cap>Sulfur
and
href=/graph/env_pol_nit_oxi_per_cap>nitrogen oxides
should also be consulted.

DEFINITION: Wastes from spent fuel arising in nuclear power plants, measured in terms of heavy metal. Data for 1998 or latest available year..

CONTENTS

# COUNTRY AMOUNT DATE GRAPH
1 United StatesUnited States 2,100 1998
2 CanadaCanada 1,340 1998
Group of 7 countries (G7) averageGroup of 7 countries (G7) average 1,134 1998
3 FranceFrance 1,130 1998
4 JapanJapan 964 1998
5 United KingdomUnited Kingdom 820 1998
6 GermanyGermany 450 1998
7 South KoreaSouth Korea 364 1998
8 SwedenSweden 238 1998
9 SpainSpain 192 1998
10 BelgiumBelgium 80 1998
11 FinlandFinland 71 1998
12 SwitzerlandSwitzerland 64 1998
13 HungaryHungary 55 1998
14 Czech RepublicCzech Republic 45 1998
15 MexicoMexico 42 1998
16 NetherlandsNetherlands 12 1998

Citation

"All countries compared for Environment > Pollution > Nuclear waste", Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France, OECD Environmental Data Compendium. Aggregates compiled by NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Environment/Pollution/Nuclear-waste

Environment > Pollution > Nuclear waste: Countries Compared Map

NationMaster

0

Spent fuel is an environmental concern as radioactivity can cause serious health effects

including: cancers, birth defects, sterility, genetic damage and lowered immunity to

diseases especially at high levels of exposure.



Uranium arrives at a nuclear power plant in the form of pellets which are

bundled together to form a fuel assembly. When the assembly no longer produces enough

energy, the pellets are replaced. The used-up pellets are called 'spent-fuel'.



Spent fuel is highly radioactive and needs to be isolated from people and the enviroment

for around 10 000 years. After this time the radiation level has reduced and the waste is

considered safe. Spent fuel is usually contained in concrete or steel containers, or in

cooling pools.



Spent fuel can be reprocessed to extract and recycle Uranium and plutonium. Great

Britain, France, Japan and Germany currently reprocess some of their nuclear waste.



To gain a more thorough overview of sources of pollution and their comparative amounts,

other sources of enviromnental pollution such as
href=/graph/env_pol_car_dio_fro_fos_fue_200>Carbon dioxide
,
href=/graph/env_pol_sul_oxi_per_cap>Sulfur
and
href=/graph/env_pol_nit_oxi_per_cap>nitrogen oxides
should also be consulted.

Posted on 03 Feb 2005

Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

Edria Murray<br>Staff Editor

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