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High-level radioactive waste in Canada. Background paper

Abstract

The disposal of radioactive waste is one of the most challenging environmental problems facing Canada today. Since the Second World War, when Canadian scientists first started to investigate nuclear reactions, there has been a steady accumulation of such waste. Research reactors built in the early postwar years produced small amounts of radioactive material but the volume grew steadily as the nuclear power reactors constructed during the 1960s and 1970s began to spawn used fuel bundles. Although this radioactive refuse has been safely stored for the short term, no permanent disposal system has yet been fully developed and implemented. Canada is not alone in this regard. A large number of countries use nuclear power reactors but none has yet put in place a method for the long-term disposal of the radioactive waste. Scientists and engineers throughout the world are investigating different possibilities; however, enormous difficulties remain. In Canada, used fuel bundles from nuclear reactors are defined as high-level waste; all other waste created at different stages in the nuclear fuel cycle is classified as low-level. Although disposal of low-level waste is an important issue, it is a more tractable problem than the disposal of high-level waste, on which this paper will  More>>
Authors:
Fawcett, R [1] 
  1. Library of Parliament, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Science and Technology Div.
Publication Date:
Nov 01, 1993
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
BP-338E
Reference Number:
SCA: 052002; PA: AIX-27:032333; EDB-96:070670; NTS-96:017450; SN: 96001578810
Resource Relation:
Other Information: DN: Also issued in French.; PBD: Nov 1993
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LTD; CANADA; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; FISSION PRODUCTS; FUEL ELEMENT CLUSTERS; PUBLIC OPINION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOACTIVE WASTE STORAGE; SITE SELECTION; SPENT FUEL ELEMENTS; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL
OSTI ID:
217633
Research Organizations:
Library of Parliament, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Research Branch
Country of Origin:
Canada
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ON: DE96621078; ISBN 0-660-15621-0; TRN: CA9600024032333
Availability:
INIS; OSTI as DE96621078
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
18 p.
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Fawcett, R. High-level radioactive waste in Canada. Background paper. Canada: N. p., 1993. Web.
Fawcett, R. High-level radioactive waste in Canada. Background paper. Canada.
Fawcett, R. 1993. "High-level radioactive waste in Canada. Background paper." Canada.
@misc{etde_217633,
title = {High-level radioactive waste in Canada. Background paper}
author = {Fawcett, R}
abstractNote = {The disposal of radioactive waste is one of the most challenging environmental problems facing Canada today. Since the Second World War, when Canadian scientists first started to investigate nuclear reactions, there has been a steady accumulation of such waste. Research reactors built in the early postwar years produced small amounts of radioactive material but the volume grew steadily as the nuclear power reactors constructed during the 1960s and 1970s began to spawn used fuel bundles. Although this radioactive refuse has been safely stored for the short term, no permanent disposal system has yet been fully developed and implemented. Canada is not alone in this regard. A large number of countries use nuclear power reactors but none has yet put in place a method for the long-term disposal of the radioactive waste. Scientists and engineers throughout the world are investigating different possibilities; however, enormous difficulties remain. In Canada, used fuel bundles from nuclear reactors are defined as high-level waste; all other waste created at different stages in the nuclear fuel cycle is classified as low-level. Although disposal of low-level waste is an important issue, it is a more tractable problem than the disposal of high-level waste, on which this paper will concentrate. The paper discusses the nuclear fuel waste management program in Canada, where a long-term disposal plan has been under development by scientists and engineers over the past 15 years, but will not be completed for some time. Also discussed are responses to the program by parliamentary committees and aboriginal and environmental groups, and the work in the area being conducted in other countries. (author). 1 tab.}
place = {Canada}
year = {1993}
month = {Nov}
}