Low-level radioactive waste includes equipment from nuclear power plants, contaminated clothing, radioactive "tags" that are used to track the flow of drugs in the body and radioactive cancer treatments.
Given public opposition to new dumps, it remains unclear where the USA will be able to store the thousands of cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste.
The increasing problems with disposal have had some benefit: production of low-level waste dropped to 1.4 million cubic feet in 1992 from 2.7 million cubic feet in 1985. Scientist are turning to methods that do not involve radiation. Companies and hospitals have become more efficient in using radioactivity and now often clean gloves and other equipment for reuse so that it does not have to be discarded.