The following chart is taken from a very interesting circular published by the US Geological Survey on the subject of High Level Radioactive Wastes (HLW). In order to compare the toxicity of HLW with (for example) uranium mill tailings, it is necessary to have a crude measure of the toxicity of radioactive materials in general. This is provided by using drinking water standards, which specify -- for each radioactive substance -- the maximum concentration that is permissible in drinking water. Thus a crude measure of toxicity can be obtained by calculating the amount of water needed to dilute a given quantity of radioactive material to the maximum permissible level of radioactive pollution that is legally permitted for drinking water. When this is done, it can be seen that -- after the first thousand years or so -- uranium mill tailings are in fact more hazardous than the HLW.
[Findings on High-Level Waste]
[ COMPLETE CCNR DIRECTORY ]
Hamstra, J.  Radiotoxic hazard measurement for buried solid radioactive waste. Nuclear Safety, v. 16, n. 2, pp. 180-189.
Pigford, T.H. and Choi, Jor-Shan.  Effect of fuel cycle alternatives on nuclear waste management. In Post, R.G. (ed.) Proceedings of the Symposium on Waste Management , Tucson, Arizona, October 3-6, 1976. [ U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration ERDA Report CONF-761020, pp. 39-57 : Available from Natl. Tech. Inf. Service, Dept. Commerce, Springfield Va, 22151 USA ]. Since March 27th 1996, there have been over
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