Waste characterization is a series of steps performed to determine the weight, volume, and physical
characteristics of radioactive waste. The Department of Energy (Department) uses data obtained
from waste characterization to evaluate treatment and disposal options for the waste. The
characterization process begins when the generator of the waste prepares a general description of the
waste produced. The extent of work performed for the final characterization is dependent on the
amount and quality of information provided by the generator and the proposed treatment or disposal
option for the waste.