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High-Level Waste (HLW)

High-Level Waste (HLW) is a type of radioactive waste that arises from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. This waste contains a mix of radioactive isotopes, including both short-lived and long-lived radionuclides. Due to its high level of radioactivity, HLW generates significant amounts of heat, and it requires meticulous handling, storage, and disposal to ensure environmental and public safety.

HLW is typically categorized into two main components: the first is spent fuel removed from reactors after it has depleted its efficiency in generating power, and the second is the highly radioactive liquids and solids resulting from the reprocessing of this spent fuel. These components not only emit radiation but can also remain hazardous for several thousand years, necessitating long-term management solutions.

The management of High-Level Waste involves various strategies, including interim storage in specially-designed facilities and permanent disposal in geological repositories. Advanced technologies and comprehensive regulatory frameworks are essential to mitigate the potential risks associated with HLW, ensuring that its storage and disposal do not adversely impact current and future generations.