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Word Count: 558
The United States alone produces an average volume of commercial low-level radioactive waste of about 500000 cubic feet each year That is a lot of waste This comes from a variety of places Mainly though it is produced by nuclear power plants This waste brings up a problem though It is difficult to dispose of radioactive materials for two reasons One some radioactive materials last for thousands of years Two most radioactive materials are hazardous and cant be stored with conventional means Currently there are a few proposals that have been made to combat this problem These include near-surface facilities mined cavities and geological repositories In the past some countries dumped radioactive waste into the sea This is extremely hazardous to the environment Recently though more practical ideas have been made to bury the waste Before the material is even considered for storage or disposal it must be properly packaged This includes packing it into steel drums or concrete containers These containers are expected to provide physical containment for at least a thousand years If the waste is in a liquid state it must be placed on a special abosrbitent type of material and then placed into the containers The next step would be to transport the containers to the burial site There are several different types of diposal facilities proposed One is a near-surface facility This facility is located within a few tens of meters from the surface These facilities include trenches and engineered vaults Another proposal is mined cavities These facilities are constructed inside mines and caverns They are either man-made or natural The last proposal is called a geological repository These sites are located more than several hundred meters below the surface in a stable geological formationaway from major fault lines and other problem spots After the site is located there are other steps in the disposal process It is proposed that the drums will be placed in groups of four Around
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