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By United States. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. Office of Support Programs

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A 55gallon drum of solid low-level waste is loaded by crane into a trailer for ship ment to a LLW disposal site. ) width, and 25 feet or more in depth. Each trench is filled with waste drums and crates to about twothirds of the trench depth. Then several feet of soil and fill material are placed on top. When an entire trench has been completely backfilled in this manner, an impermeable “cap” of soil and sometimes compacted clay about 6 feet deep is sealed on top of the trench, creating a contour that sheds surface water.

But, uranium is more efficient than other fuel types (Table 2). A crude uranium oxide is extracted from the ore at uranium mills that are generally located near the mines. The mills concentrate the uranium oxide by crushing the ore into fine sand-like particles which are then put through such separation and concentration pro- cesses as screening, flotation and gravity separation. The milling process leaves a large residue of liquid sludge called “tailings” which is allowed to dry and collected in piles within enclosures.

As was explained previously in the description of reactor core elements, in water-cooled reactors the water serves as a moderator to slow neutrons and increase the likelihood of atoms fis- 27 Figure 20. Point Beach Nuclear Plant at Two Creeks, Wisconsin. The plant has two 497-megawatt pressurized-water reactors (PWRs). Unit 1 began operation in 1970, Unit 2 in 1972. ) e ator Figure 22. Fort St. Vrain in Colorado is the first commercial high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) to be built in the United States.

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