Radioactive waste is produced from wide range of applications in medicine, industry and research (radiation sources from medicine and industry, waste from research facilities, etc.).
For example, the following have to be recycled or disposed of as radioactive waste:
radiation sources from medicine (mainly recycled)
radiation sources from technical applications
tritium waste from luminous paints in the watch industry
radioactive substances from measuring cells in old fire alarms
Radioactive sources are used in radiation therapy. (Image: University Clinic, Zürich)
Numerous applications of radioactive substances can be found in industry and technology. The picture shows use of a radioactive source to check welding seams in a pipe. (Image: Suva, Lucerne)
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Older generation fire alarms contain radioactive substances (americium-241) in the measuring cells. (Image: Nagra)
Luminous paint used for watch faces – an example
of everyday use of radioactive substances.
(Image: Suva, Lucerne)
Particle physics research at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva results in components becoming activated; these have to be disposed of as radioactive waste.
(Image: CERN, Geneva)