PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Waste nuclear fuel being unloaded from a ship. The waste nuclear fuel, from a nuclear power station, is in the white cylinder at centre, which is being removed from the ship by the crane (blue). Waste nuclear fuel is a highly radioactive mix of nuclear fission products and unused nuclear fuel, and is transported in heavily-shielded lead-lined containers. The container will be taken to a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility, where the unused fuel (plutonium and uranium) will be extracted to make new fuel rods. The waste fission products will be sealed in containers and stored for hundreds of years until they are safe. The port is Cherbourg, in northern France, and the spent nuclear fuel is being transported to the nearby La Hague reprocessing centre. Photographed in 2004.
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