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Management of Commercial High Level and Transuranium Contaminated Radioactive Waste

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This report summarizes the results of EPA's review of the AEC
draft environmental statement, "Management of Commercial High-Level
and Transuranium-Contaminated Radioactive Waste" (WASH-1539). The
means by which high-level and long-lived radioactive wastes are
managed constitutes one of the most important questions upon which
the public acceptability of nuclear power, with its social and economic
benefits, will be determined. While the generation of power by
nuclear means offers certain benefits from the environmental viewpoint,
the question of how to properly manage the hazardous waste produced
during such power generation remains one of the major unresolved
issues. EPA is especially concerned with the long-term nature of the
potential environmental hazards presented by these wastes. Complicating
this problem is the fact that physical and administrative controls
for this waste will have to be exercised over e periods which are
extremely long in comparison to the relatively brief history of human
social institutions. EPA's review of the AEC evaluation of the
overall problem was made within that perspective.