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A general term for a wide range of wastes having low levels of radioactivity. Industries, hospitals and medical, educational, or research institutions; private or government laboratories; and nuclear fuel cycle facilities (e.g., nuclear power reactors and fuel fabrication plants) that use radioactive materials generate low-level wastes as part of their normal operations. These wastes are generated in many physical and chemical forms and levels of contamination.

Low-level radioactive wastes containing source, special nuclear, or byproduct material are acceptable for disposal in a land disposal facility. For the purposes of this definition, low-level waste has the same meaning as in the Low-level Waste Policy Act, that is, radioactive waste not classified as high-level radioactive waste, transuranic waste, spent nuclear fuel, or byproduct material as defined in section 11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act (uranium or thorium tailings and waste). See also High-level waste and Low-level waste.

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission