Question Video: Describing the Relation between Nuclear Waste and Nuclear Radiation Science

Which of the following correctly describes the relation between nuclear waste and nuclear radiation? [A] Nuclear waste is a source of nuclear radiation. [B] Nuclear waste is a type of nuclear radiation.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following correctly describes the relation between nuclear waste and nuclear radiation? (A) Nuclear waste is a source of nuclear radiation. (B) Nuclear waste is a type of nuclear radiation.

So we’re trying to decide whether nuclear waste is a source or a type of nuclear radiation. Let’s start by considering just what nuclear waste is. A nuclear reactor is designed to safely contain sources of nuclear radiation. When these sources become depleted, they are removed from the reactor and put into thick containers. These depleted sources of radiation are called nuclear waste. The reason nuclear waste needs to be contained is it’s still a source of radiation. If nuclear waste was a type of radiation, it would radiate out and disappear quickly. But because it is a source constantly giving off nuclear radiation, it must be shielded from the environment. We choose answer option (A).

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