Another distinct difference in the classification of wastes from these two countries is that the U.S. system does not specify lower limits for its classes hence making it impossible to exclude materials with negligible levels of activity from radioactive regulations. In contrast, the NRC in Japan has instituted BRC standards that allow some wastes to be exempted from radioactive regulatory rules.

Conventionally, waste classification systems are divided into two groups based on the approach used. The two groups are the top-down approaches and bottom-up approaches. The top-down approach categorizes wastes based on simple features and compositions of the wastes. The bottom-up approach, conversely, classifies wastes according to the features of their disposal sites. Ideally, a classification system ought to use only one of the two approaches. However, the U.S. classification system is a blend of both approaches. On the other hand, the Japanese system of classification uses the top-down approach only. Therefore, it can be concluded that the Japanese system of classification of radioactive wastes is more simplified and organized than the U.S. system of classification.

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Comparison of the Classification of Radioactive Waste in Japan, USA and IAEA

The IAEA is empowered to create safety standards to safeguard the health and reduce the destruction of life and property. In addition, the body ensures that all member states meet these standards. The utilization of IAEA standards in the categorization of wastes and subsequent disposal gives a dependable, uniform way of making certain that the requirements under the agreement are fulfilled.

Designers, manufacturers and operators of radioactive substances also need to adhere to these guidelines to ensure safety in the various applications that entail radioactive materials. Most systems of waste classification associate the processes that spawn the wastes with the mode of disposal. Consequently, the sources of the wastes instead of their radiological traits determine their end (Andrews 1).