Nuclear waste reprocessing, fuel handling

Nuclear waste reprocessing, fuel handling

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nuclear fuel reprocessing. Workers using robotic remote-handling machinery at a nuclear fuel reprocessing centre. The waste nuclear fuel, a highly radioactive mix of nuclear fission products and unused nuclear fuel, is brought here from nuclear power stations. After a few years storage to allow the radioactivity to decrease, the fuel is processed from behind lead shielding. The unused fuel (plutonium and uranium) is extracted to make new fuel rods. The waste fission products are sealed in containers and stored until their underground chambers are ready. This is the La Hague reprocessing centre in northern France. Photographed in 2004.

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