The short answer is; yes it can. Like most other man-made chemical contaminants, radioactive waste has the potential to “leach” into groundwater and cause an adverse reaction by those who drink the water. The levels of waste that are able to reach the water-source depend on the amount of waste, the composition of the soil, etc. Most states (and the federal government) have regulatory requirements for disposing radioactive waste which seek to limit the potential for run-off. For example, disposal facilities usually have to be constructed a requisite distance from surface and/or groundwater and consist of multiple physical barriers to discourage any contact.
All water is slightly radioactive naturally, but excessive radioactivity can enter the water table from runoff from waste, such as oily sludge. This can be especially dangerous in arid areas, which are extremely dependant on wells and other sources of subterranean water. Radioactive buildup in the body can lead to cancer and tumors, and can decimate ecosystems dependant on the contaminated water table.
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