Radioactive Waste - Research Article from Pollution A to Z

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 8 pages of information about Radioactive Waste.
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Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste (or nuclear waste) is a material deemed no longer useful that has been contaminated by or contains radionuclides. Radionuclides are unstable atoms of an element that decay, or disintegrate spontaneously, emitting energy in the form of radiation. Radioactive waste has been created by humans as a by-product of various endeavors since the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 by Antoine Henri Becquerel. Since World War II, radioactive waste has been created by military weapons production and testing; mining; electrical power generation; medical diagnosis and treatment; consumer product development, manufacturing, and treatment; biological and chemical research; and other industrial uses.

There are approximately five thousand natural and artificial radionuclides that have been identified, each with a different half-life. A half-life is a measure of time required for an amount of radioactive material to decrease by one-half of its initial amount. Half-life values for each known radionuclide are...

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This section contains 2,181 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
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Pollution A to Z
Radioactive Waste from Pollution A to Z. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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