Low Level Radioactive Waste Law and Legal Definition

In the U.S., radioactive waste is divided into high-level radioactive waste and low-level radioactive waste. Low-level waste is generally defined as any radioactive waste consisting of objects that is briefly exposed to radioactivity. Low level radioactive waste is generated by both "commercial" operations and U.S. Department of Energy operations. The federal government is responsible for disposal of low-level waste generated by the Department of Energy including wastes from the atomic weapons program and from the decommissioning of nuclear reactors which power naval vessels. The states are responsible only for disposal of low-level waste from and government facilities.

According to 10 CFR 61.55, commercial low-level radioactive waste is divided into Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A contains the lowest concentration of radioactive materials. Class B contains the next lowest concentration of radioactive materials, and Class C has the highest concentration of radioactive material allowed to be buried in a low-level waste disposal facility.