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Nuclear Waste Cleanup Technologies and Opportunities

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Overview

One of the largest, most complicated and expensive environmental problems in the United States is the cleanup of nuclear wastes. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approximately 4,000 contaminated sites covering tens of thousands of acres and replete with contaminated hazardous or radioactive waste, soil, or structures. In addition to high-level waste, it has more than 250,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste and millions of cubic meters of low-level radio-active waste. In addition, DOE is responsible for thousands of facilities awaiting decontamination, decommissioning, and dismantling.

DOE and its predecessors have been involved in the management of radioactive wastes since 1943, when such wastes were first generated in significant quantities as by-products of nuclear weapons production. Waste connected with DOE's nuclear weapons complex has been accumulating as a result of various operations spanning over five decades.

The cost estimates for nuclear waste cleanup in the United States have been rapidly rising. It has recently been estimated to be in a range from $200 to $350 billion. Costs could vary considerably based on future philosophies as to whether to isolate certain sites (the ""iron fence"" philosophy), or clean them up to a pristine condition (the ""greenfields"" philosophy). Funding will also be based on Congressional action that may reduce environmental cleanup, based on budget considerations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815513810
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 1/14/1996
  • Pages: 471
  • Product dimensions: 1.06 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Nuclear Waste Categories 19
3 Department of Energy Locations 27
4 Other Locations 53
5 Storage and Disposal 69
6 Soils and Sediments 102
7 Thermal Processes 165
8 Radionuclides in Water 175
9 Decontamination, Decommissioning, and Recycling 201
10 Buried Waste 226
11 Immobilization 241
12 Mill Tailings 275
13 High-Level Waste Treatment 300
14 Mixed Waste Treatment 363
15 Low-Level Waste Treatment 380
Appendix I: Department of Energy Long-Term (DOE) Expenditures 386
Appendix II: Department of Energy Addresses and Telephone Numbers 400
Appendix III: Foreign Nuclear Waste Management Organizations and Activities 404
Appendix IV: Acronyms 432
Bibliography 438
Index 447
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