Ohio State University Factsheet

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Fact Sheets:
An Introduction


Audeen Fentiman
Richard Christensen
Karen Mancl
Joe Heimlich
Brian K. Hajek

Low-level radioactive waste has been generated for decades in Ohio and other states by nuclear power plants, industry, hospitals, universities, research institutions, and government facilities. According to federal law, each state is responsible for disposing of commercial low-level radioactive waste generated within its borders. States may form groups, called compacts, to share that responsibility. Ohio is part of the Midwest Compact; the other members are Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Every twenty years, the responsibility for hosting the Midwest Compact's low-level waste disposal facility will rotate among the member states. As the largest generator of this waste, Ohio was chosen as the first host state.

Ohio's citizens and elected officials are now faced with making decisions about low-level radioactive waste. Radioactive waste is a topic few people have had an opportunity to study in detail. But accurate information is necessary if Ohioans are to make sound decisions about dealing with low-level waste.

Radiation Education Resources for Ohio is a set of fact sheets written by a team at The Ohio State University (OSU) to provide Ohio's citizens with information on low-level radioactive waste. The fact sheets are designed to present accurate, research-based information that will help Ohio's citizens and their elected officials to participate confidently and competently in discussions and decisions related to low-level waste.

The team which produced the fact sheets consisted of faculty and graduate students from both the OSU Nuclear Engineering Program and OSU Extension.* Each fact sheet was reviewed by more than 20 people with different levels of education and areas of expertise. Reviewers with widely differing points of view were selected.

Thirty-nine fact sheets have been published. A list of titles follows with a link to the individual fact sheets. Each fact sheet addresses a single topic related to low-level radioactive waste. The fact sheets present fundamental scientific and legal concepts in non-technical language. Care has been taken to avoid making subjective judgements or offering arguments for or against any particular action related to low-level waste. Rather, it is hoped that the fundamental concepts presented in the fact sheets will form a framework around which Ohio's citizens can accumulate, organize, and evaluate additional information on low-level radioactive waste from many other sources.

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Fact Sheet Titles

Copies of these fact sheets are available at no cost from your County Extension Office.

Author Notes:

Drs. Audeen Fentiman, Richard Christensen, and Brian Hajek are faculty members in the OSU Nuclear Engineering Program. Drs. Karen Mancl and Joe Heimlich are faculty members in OSU Extension.

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Keith L. Smith, Director, Ohio State University Extension.

TDD # 1 (800) 589-8292 (Ohio only) or (614) 292-1868

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