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The processing of nuclear material such as plutonium and enriched uranium for energy production results in spent material. A nuclear power station with a 1,000 megawatt capacity will typically produce in excess of 20 tons of spent fuel annually. This material must be disposed of as safely as possible because it is highly radioactive and dangerous to human health, causing cancer and other illnesses. However, the material may sometimes be reprocessed. The fission materials produced by the original processing may be removed and the spent material can either be recycled or collected into weapons-grade plutonium or uranium.

Approximately 270,000 tons of nuclear waste has already been produced globally, and current projections are for an additional 12,000 tons to be produced annually for the next 25 years. ...

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