Concentrate Aqueous Low-Level Radioactive Waste Into A Disposable Dry Solid With RadAway

What do I do with aqueous low-level radioactive waste? As a radiation safety officer for a small biotechnology company, I found solving that problem to be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of my job. Faced with limited access to disposal sites, budget-busting costs, and a small waste storage room, I've had to rely completely on decay-in-storage to cope with low-level radioactive waste. Typically, we hold radioactive waste with half-lives less than 90 days for a period equal to 10 ha

Michael Brush
Sep 13, 1998

What do I do with aqueous low-level radioactive waste?

As a radiation safety officer for a small biotechnology company, I found solving that problem to be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of my job. Faced with limited access to disposal sites, budget-busting costs, and a small waste storage room, I've had to rely completely on decay-in-storage to cope with low-level radioactive waste. Typically, we hold radioactive waste with half-lives less than 90 days for a period equal to 10 half-lives. This allows the waste to decay to background radiation levels before it is disposed of as normal trash or released into the sanitary sewer. Of course, I thoroughly monitor and inspect the waste before releasing it.


RadAway from Naiad Technologies
For an isotope like 32P, 10 half-lives works out to 140 days, or about 5 months. In practice, I've found storing waste for 6 months to a year...

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