Radiation emitted from nuclear waste causes mutations, which usually result in genetic damage and resulting disorders as well as tumors (including cancer). High doses can cause radiation sickness and burns. This affects not only humans but almost all forms of life. Nuclear waste is usually disposed of in specially designed protective packaging in safe areas, and with time the amount of radiation emitted decreases as the radioactive fuel decays, and usually the emitted radiation is contained. Most problems arise if the containers with waste gets damaged, and the contained waste leaks into the surroundings.
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