A life cycle decision methodology for recycle of radioactive scrap metal
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During the past five years, a number of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded efforts have demonstrated the technical efficacy of converting various forms of radioactive scrap metal (RSM) into useable products. While health and safety and other technical issues have been addressed, the question remains: do the benefits of fabricating products from RSM outweigh the costs? This paper presents a decision methodology for use within DOE to evaluate the costs and benefits of recycling and reusing some RSM, rather than disposing of this RSM in an approved burial site. The methodology consists of two distinct phases: the Life Cycle Assessment phase and the decision phase. The Life Cycle Assessment approach proposed here differs from traditional life cycle assessments because it considers economic and other impacts of concern to stakeholders, and includes secondary and indirect impacts that may occur upstream or downstream of the decision.
KeywordsDecision analysis industrial ecology Life Cycle Assessment metals recycle methodology, LCA radioactive scrap metal RSM
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