Nuclear waste

A subset of radioactive waste that includes unusable byproducts produced during the various stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, including recovery (or extraction), conversion, and enrichment of uranium; fuel fabrication; and use of the fuel in nuclear reactors. Specifically, these stages produce a variety of nuclear waste materials, including uranium mill tailings, depleted uranium, and spent (depleted) fuel, all of which are regulated by the NRC. (By contrast, "radioactive waste" is a broader term, which includes all wastes that contain radioactivity, regardless of how they are produced. It is not considered "nuclear waste" because it is not produced through the nuclear fuel cycle and is generally not regulated by the NRC.)

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 09, 2021