Anything that generates electricity produces waste. Radioactive waste can be extremely harmful to both the health of humans and to the environment. Implementing a radioactive waste management system is vital to minimizing these harmful effects.
Eventually, all radioactive waste decays into non-radioactive elements. The more radioactive an isotope is, the faster it decays. Radioactive waste ranges from low-level, intermediate-level, and high-level. Low-level waste includes radioactive protective clothing, tools, filters, rags, and medical tubes.
Intermediate-level waste compromises resins, chemical sludges, metal fuel cladding, and more. High-level waste is very radioactive for its decay heat and requires cooling and shielding. High-level waste comes from burning of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor.
It is highly important to contain and properly store radioactive waste. Some low-level waste can be stored at a plant until it stops being radioactive and is deemed safe to be disposed. However, most waste (especially intermediate and high level waste) is collected and transported safely to a disposal facility.
Radioactive waste can be very hazardous. Therefore, the use of certain radioactive materials must be closely regulated to protect the health and safety of the public and environment. The responsibility for licensing and regulating the use and handling of these materials is done by these four organizations:
- The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
- State Governments
BE3 has experience necessary to supervise the safe management of hazardous and radioactive waste. Our services include:
- Media sampling and analysis
- Waste characterization and profiling
- Negotiation of shipping and disposal
- MSDS review
- Waste packaging, labeling and documentation