The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Energy

The Disposition Dilemma: Controlling the Release of Solid Materials from Nuclear Regulatory Commission-Licensed Facilities (2002)

Establishing a new policy to control the release of solid material from civilian nuclear facilities has been problematic for almost three decades. Under the current system, such materials may be released from the control of a licensed nuclear facility-a power reactor, research facility, hospital, etc.-if the radionuclide concentrations can be shown to be very small. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) has tried several times to improve the current policy under which slightly radioactive solid material is released from the control of licensed facilities. To assist in this effort, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asked the National Research Council to recommend changes to the decision-making process for disposition of slightly radioactive solid material, and determine whether the technical studies of the health impacts were sufficient to support the Commission’s future decisions. This report presents the results of that study.ÿ It describes the fate of materials released from a facility, problems with the current release system, and recommendations about how to create a new policy.

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True or False: Burning coal in electric power plants is a major source of CO2 and other emissions. However, its use doesn't have negative consequences beyond the emissions caused by combustion.

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    Mining coal disturbs the land and modifies the chemistry of rainwater runoff, which in turn affects stream and river water quality.

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    Mining coal disturbs the land and modifies the chemistry of rainwater runoff, which in turn affects stream and river water quality.