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What is a nuclear graveyard

Energy is the result of the interaction and exchange between the forces of nature: gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear and weak nuclear. There are different types of energy depending on the form or the medium used for its manifestation, such as thermal, mechanical, electrical or light energy, being, today, one of our most precious basic resources.

Without energy, we would not be able to use the vast majority of devices or tools that we use in our daily lives, so our lifestyle would be seriously affected. Due to this, the use of nuclear energy is essential to be able to cover the demand and electricity consumption of our current society. In AgroCorrn we explain what this type of energy is, what waste it produces and what a nuclear cemetery is to treat this waste.

It may also interest you: Is nuclear energy renewable?
Index
  1. What is the nuclear energy
  2. What waste nuclear energy generates
  3. What are nuclear cemeteries

What is the nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is that which is generated by the disintegration of the atoms of a specific material, uranium . This disintegration is achieved by the bombardment of neutrons that cause the decomposition of the nucleus of the uranium atom and a large amount of energy is released, which produces the heat with which the water contained in the reactors is boiled, generating the steam with which the turbines located inside it move and, in this way, produce electricity.

In this other article we explain what are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear energy .

What waste nuclear energy generates

The activity of a nuclear power plant generates different types of nuclear waste , from those materials contaminated by the simple use in the installation to the fuel remains themselves. These generally emit radiation that can be harmful to human health and the environment, so it is necessary that they be classified and treated according to their radiation level:

  • Low and medium level nuclear waste (clothing, tools and material used in the maintenance of the plant). Some are diluted and eliminated in the natural environment, since their radioactive concentration is as small as that of a television and the law allows it. Others are subjected to treatments to separate the radioactive elements. The resulting waste is introduced into steel drums and solidified with tar, resins or cement, being stored on the surface or at low depth until the radioactive period ends, which are considered temporary warehouses.
  • High-level nuclear waste (generated mainly from spent fuel). The fuel is extracted from the reactor and stored temporarily in a tank inside the plant built with stainless steel and concrete walls, to avoid leaks. Part of this fuel can be reused in special plants, although the most common practice is to put the residue in very durable and corrosion-resistant metal containers, which are stored in final landfills, also known as “nuclear cemeteries”.

What are nuclear cemeteries

In this section we focus on the main question about what a nuclear cemetery is , which has led us to discuss the issue of nuclear energy . Nuclear cemeteries are nothing more than the final deposit to which radioactive nuclear waste goes .

These are deep geological storages that meet a series of specific characteristics such as: stability, thickness, retention capacity and absence of preferential routes. In essence, this solution consists of creating a multi-barrier system between the waste and the biosphere , so that the radioactive remains remain confined and isolated.

One of the most important factors when using this type of storage is the geological formation to be used, of which the depth also varies, the most appropriate types of rocks being clays and metamorphic or volcanic magmatic hard rocks, such as example granite, basalt or tuff. So, for the location in hard rocks, the usual depth is between 500 and 1,000 meters , paying attention that the formations are little fractured and do not present cracks.

Unlike in temporary storage, in this case, there is no intention to recover the waste, in the same way that, although there are surveillance actions of the facility and the natural environment near it, there are no long-term controls of the facility . In other words, the deep geological storage facility is closed and sealed, thus allowing the storage of residual material to be permanent and thus receiving the nickname “nuclear graveyard”.

Far from the uncertainty and mistrust that this type of facilities may cause us, the truth is that, currently, it constitutes the safest solution since it provides protection of the human being and the environment against radiation and at the same time it is used of geological formations. In addition to being the safest solution against possible theft or sabotage. However, possible better solutions are still being investigated.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is a nuclear cemetery , we recommend that you enter our category of Non-renewable energies .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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