Environment > Pollution > Nuclear waste: Group totals

Edria Murray, Staff Editor

Author: Edria Murray, 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. </p>

<p>Uranium arrives at a <a href=http://people.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-power.htm>nuclear power</a> 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'.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

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

other sources of enviromnental pollution such as <a

href=/graph/env_pol_car_dio_fro_fos_fue_200>Carbon dioxide</a>, <a

href=/graph/env_pol_sul_oxi_per_cap>Sulfur</a> and <a

href=/graph/env_pol_nit_oxi_per_cap>nitrogen oxides</a> should also be consulted.</p>
DEFINITION: Wastes from spent fuel arising in nuclear power plants, measured in terms of heavy metal. Data for 1998 or latest available year.


Group of 7 countries (G7) 6,804 1998

Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising.

Please add www.nationmaster.com to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.