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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Energy Hands-on

What do you know about energy?

Which primary energy source did we depend on the most to generate electricity in the United States in 2008?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Correct!

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    In 2008, the United States depended most on coal to generate electricity. Coal provided approximately 49% of the electricity generated by the United States that year.