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Environmental Issues
Radioactive Waste

How do nuclear wastes affect the ecosystem?

Answer

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June 21, 2012 8:34PM

Nuclear waste is not normally allowed to enter the ecosystem for many obvious reasons. The correct containment of high level waste is still debated because of this issue. The material will remain radioactive longer than any civilization has ever existed and the concern that the material remains safely away from the ecosystem is very real and hard to quantify.

If high level waste does reach the ecosystem, the affect is overall very negative. Animals can become ill or die. Tumors and cancers can become an issue and reproduction problems for plant and animal life has been observed.

Low level materials and regular waste from the site is very different. They have similar issues to regular day to day waste in terms of their environmental impact.