|Where are the wastes today?|
Radioactive waste is an umbrella term for a range of very different waste types. What they have in common is that they contain radioactive substances. Examples include spent fuel rods from a nuclear power plant, the used protective plastic gloves of a power plant worker or old smoke detectors.
Radioactive wastes arise as a by-product of various technologies and activities. They are produced mainly in nuclear power plants and, to a lesser extent, in the fields of medicine, industry and research. These wastes can be dangerous if they are not managed responsibly. They have to be handled very carefully and disposed of in an appropriate and safe way.
Operational waste from a nuclear power plant. The waste is melted, solidified to a slag-like mass and placed in drums. (Image: Nagra)