Nuclear waste – how it is produced

Nuclear waste is produced from industrial, medical and scientific processes that use radioactive material. Nuclear waste can have detrimental effects on marine habitats. Nuclear waste comes from a number of sources:

  • Operations conducted by nuclear power stations produce radioactive waste. Nuclear-fuel reprocessing plants in northern Europe are the biggest sources of man-made nuclear waste in the surrounding
    ocean. Radioactive traces from these plants have been found as far away as Greenland.
  • Mining and refining of uranium and thorium are also causes of marine nuclear waste.
  • Waste is also produced in the nuclear fuel cycle which is used in many industrial, medical and scientific processes.