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Non-renewable energy

Nuclear Fission - Disadvantages


The end result of the fission process is a small volume of radioactive waste. This material remains highly dangerous for many centuries while it decays. Additionally, the waste contains small amounts of Plutonium, which could be separated out to make nuclear weapons.

To protect others from harm, this waste must be stored in such a way that it can never leak out into the surrounding area. But creating a storage method that is guaranteed to last for centuries is very difficult and very expensive. Despite the presence of nuclear power in the UK since 1956, there is still no effective, totally safe method to dispose of the waste. Large quantities of waste are stored under water in giant tanks at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria. This site has been connected to a string of safety concerns over the years.

Nuclear waste products have also found a controversial use as depleted uranium armour piercing shells.

Next: Cost of nuclear power

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Pouring molten glass into a mould.

Vitrification, the encasing of nuclear waste in glass, is one proposed method for the storage of nuclear waste while it decays.