There's another type of radioactive waste called low level waste. The high level waste are the fission products, the things that uranium splits into or maybe some of the ones where the uranium doesn't split and just becomes a heavier element. They have very long half lives and are very toxic and radioactive. Low level wastes are things that have a very low level of radioactivity. And you might say, well, why should they be radioactive at all. Much of it may not be. But if someone's wearing gloves and their lab coat and goggles and so forth and they're handling some of the nuclear fuel, there's some worry that maybe some activated dust that was on the outside because the neutrons had been going through it, it might be slightly radioactive, it's on the outside of my gloves. Easier just to take all the gloves, all that stuff out, put it inside out, put it in a barrel. Low level waste. Low levels of contamination. There's another thing nuclear power does and that's the main form of the nuclear waste that falls into this category. And they're called resin beads. If you have a water conditioner - and not as many people do. But if you have a well and you don't want to drink water they call hard, that doesn't make soap suds and tastes like iron, then you need to have something that will actually take the dissolved metals and dissolved heavier elements out of the water. And there is a tank containing small little plastic beads and those small plastic beads attract the metal ions. At home, you put salt in a water conditioner tank, which rinses those metals out. They go down the drain and then you rinse the salt off with the water and you're ready to go again. But at a nuclear power plant, the water which goes through the nuclear reactor tinily dissolves the metal pipes, tiny, small amounts. That amount is now carried through the core where it's irradiated with neutrons and neutrons are what make things radioactive and some of that metal dissolved from the pipes and the machinery becomes radioactive. And so we have a water conditioner, the resin bead tank that takes those ions out. Now because that's concentrating that low level of radioactivity, you can't just flush it with salt. You instead have to take the resin beads at their end of the useful life, i don't know, a year later and take them and actually dispose of them. They are also low level waste. So how much of this stuff is there? Let's put it in perspective. First, if we look at agriculture, agriculture makes waste. You might not think of it that way. I guess it's the organics that come out of the end of the farm animals and it's the crop husks that are left after you do it. And it's a lot, 3,000 million tons. But you know, it's organic mostly and you can use it. It's not too bad, but just to give you the idea of scale. There's another thing, which is mining. And of course the thing that goes with the mining called milling where you take the raw materials, the ores and you have to separate out the part you want and you have all the stuff that's left over - the mill tailings. That's about 2,000 million tons. Again that goes back in the ground, but you know, if you think about the process, that still is waste. Now you have industry. Industry makes a lot of stuff and it's a really broad category. But they also have a lot of waste products, which have to be stored, put in some dump, some facility, somehow disposed of. And that number is 400 million tons per year. These are all per year annual numbers. Then you have the kind of waste that you're used to, municipal. Municipal waste, the stuff that goes to the landfill. And in America that's 200 million tons per year. 40 percent of our energy, more or less, goes to making electricity, much of that with fossil fuels. Coal is the biggest single way we make electricity in the U.S. Utilities have waste because all of the coal turns into ash and that ash has to be disposed of. That's 100 million tons per year of utility waste that has to be dealt with. And if I take these types of numbers and I compare this to the amount of radioactive waste, this low level waste I'm talking about - high level waste is even less - this number is 0.04 million tons. 40,000 tons. This low level radioactive waste can be disposed of properly. You don't want to just throw it in the river. Absolutely not. What you do want to do is you want to put it in containers and deal with it as follows. What do you do with that 40,000 tons a year? Well, the first thing is you put it in barrels. These aren't real barrels. It's a demonstration of the type of stuff, the clothing, the other filters, the stuff that could go in and you put them into a barrel. Now we have four sites across the United States. And these are designed and they've been approved and they're heavily monitored and this waste is taken in those barrels to that site. And one of them looks like this. Barrels are stacked up. This is clearly in a dry desert type of climate with lots of sand around it. And the very important thing is no water. If water does get in, you'd of course want to drain it away and there's a leachate field if you want to monitor the amount of water. But all this waste is at a very low level of radioactivity. The real danger is that someone might come there, open it up and eat it, which would be stupid. But that's actually the danger to the public. Once you put the sand and the shielding mac around it, there's no more radioactive dose walking over the top of this than there would be walking over the top of any other ground. Here's a picture from the air. You don't do it in heavily populated areas. You do it in a fairly deserted stretch. You monitor it. You have fences. And you can bury these barrels that contain the low level waste here. Now it could be that you need to make a place where there is more water, that you're not in a desert. It's not just nuclear power that makes this type of waste. Nuclear power comes from maybe 60 percent, but the rest comes from medical procedures. When you go do some nuclear medicine where they put some radioactive dye in you to course through and see what your circulation system is and where the blockages are, what do they do with that syringe? You see them put it in some little box. Well, that box is low level radioactive waste. Industry makes a variety of things that are radioactive and when they do, they end up with low level radioactive waste. Research labs have some too. So all of this waste cannot necessarily all go to a desert. Sometimes it's much more convenient to put it in a place that is going to have some rain, but you can design for that. You first put a clay barrier, right. And then when you build this, you put a roof over it and maybe even slope inside that roof. Something like this shows you where you can have impermeable barriers. You've got monitors. You make this into some type of hill shape and you plant on top of it. Again not to hide it, but rather to ensure you have water run-off. And you're monitoring wells nearby to make sure that there is no radioactivity that has escaped. You see being able to measure things radioactive is so easy. I can bring the Geiger counter up to you right now and you'd click because you've got potassium in your body. Not that you should be worried about the fact you have potassium in your body. But the illustration is that it's very easy to detect extremely minute amounts of radioactive material. Here's an example of one of the sites I just showed you. You can see a little bit of green. They still maybe need to plant this all together, but this is the leachate field here that is underneath so that ultimately if anything ever came out you'd be able to monitor it. And yet you can still have it in an area where it can possibly rain. So storing low level nuclear and other radioactive waste is an ongoing process. But again one that can be managed and engineered and is not a worry to the general public. That's what you need to know.