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Radioactive wastes are wastes that contain radioactive material. Radioactive wastes are usually by-products of nuclear power generation and other applications of nuclear fission or nuclear technology, such as research and medicine. Radioactive waste is hazardous to most forms of life and the environment, and is regulated by government agencies in order to protect human health and the environment. Radioactivity diminishes over time, so waste is typically isolated and stored for a period of time until it no longer poses a hazard. The period of time waste must be stored depends on the type of waste. Low-level waste with low levels of radioactivity per mass or volume may need to be stored for only hours or days while high-level wastes the time frames in question range from 10,000 to millions of years. Current major approaches to managing radioactive waste have been segregation and storage for short-lived wastes, near-surface disposal for low and some intermediate level wastes, and deep burial or transmutation for the high-level wastes. A summary of the amounts of radioactive wastes and management approaches for most developed countries are presented and reviewed periodically as part of the International Atomic Energy Agency Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. (via Freebase)