Advertisement

Long-term Radioactive Waste Management: Challenges and Approaches to Regulatory Decision Making

  • Thomas Flüeler
Conference paper

Abstract

The disposition of radioactive waste admittedly is a complex socio-technical issue. During the last decade, the nuclear community has come to recognise that a technical, esp. Decide-Announce-Defend (DAD), approach cannot be successful. The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) acknowledged in 1999 that “an informed societal judgement is necessary” [1: 23]. A year later, a special NEA committee conceded that “technical expertise and expert confidence in the safety of geologic disposal of radioactive waste are insufficient, on their own, to justify to a wider audience geologic disposal … the decisions, whether, when and how to implement [it] will need a thorough public examination and involvement of all relevant stakeholders” [2: 3]. Looking at the vast objective and institutional dimensions of radioactive waste management (RWM) it is reasonable, and necessary, to examine the central and challenging roles of the regulatory bodies on the way to a sustainable long-term RWM1. Increased stakeholder involvement and the charged regulators’ role as trustees of the public not only pose novel demands on traditionally technocentric institutions but may conflict with long-established relations to implementers and proponents and, potentially, with long-term-safety responsibilities.

Keywords

Radioactive Waste Geologic Disposal Radioactive Waste Disposal Radioactive Waste Management Deep Geological Repository 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    NEA. Progress towards geologic disposal of radioactive waste: where do we stand? An International Assessment. OECD, Paris, 1999aGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    NEA. Stakeholder confidence and radioactive waste disposal. OECD, Paris, 2000Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    NEA. Confidence in the long-term safety of deep geological repositories. Its development and communication. OECD, Paris, 1999bGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    NEA. Can long-term safety be evaluated? An international collective opinion of NEA, IAEA, and EC Committees. OECD, Paris, 1991Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Flüeler T. Options in radioactive waste management revisited: A framework for robust decision-making. Risk Anal 2001, 21(4): 787–799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    US National Research Council. One step at a time. The staged development of geologic repositories for high-level radioactive waste. Natl Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2003Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Flüeler T. Robust decision making in radioactive waste management is process-oriented. In: Andersson K (ed.) VALDOR 2003-VALues in Decisions On Risk. SKI et al., Stockholm, 2003, pp 79-87Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Flüeler T. Decision anomalies and institutional learning in radioactive waste management, 8th Intl Conf High-Level RWM, Las Vegas. ANS, La Grange Park IL, 1998, pp 796-799Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Flüeler T. Robustness in radioactive waste management. A contribution to decision-making in complex socio-technical systems. In: Zio E et al. (eds) Safety & Reliability. Towards a Safer World, ESREL 2001, 1. Politecnico, Torino, Italy, 2001, pp 317-325Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Flüeler T. Radioaktive Abfälle in der Schweiz. Muster der Entscheidungsfindung in komplexen soziotechnischen Systemen. PhD thesis, ETHZ. dissertation.de, Berlin, 2002Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Flüeler, T. Robust long-term radioactive waste management. Decision making in complex socio-technical systems. Lessons learnt from a case study and international comparison (tentative title). Ser Env & Pol. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht NL, forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    IAEA. Basic safety principles for nuclear power plants. A report by the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group. 75-INSAG-3 Rev 1. IAEA, Vienna, 1999bGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    NEA. The regulator’s evolving role and image in radioactive waste management. Lessons learnt within the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence. OECD, Paris, 2003Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hanson, S O. An overview of decision theory. SKN Report 41. SKN, Stockholm, 1994Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    NEA. Disposal of radioactive waste. Lessons learnt from ten performance assessment studies. OECD, Paris, 1997bGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    NEA. The disposal of Canada’s Nuclear Fuel Waste. Report of the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency Review Group. Natural Resources Canada, no place, 1995Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    NEA. Disposal of radioactive waste. The Probabilistic System Assessment Group. History and Achievements 1985-1994. OECD, Paris, 1997aGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    NEA/IAEA. International Peer Review of the 1996 Performance Assessment of the US Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). NEA/IAEA Intl Review Group. OECD, Paris, 1997Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    NEA. An International Peer Review of the Yucca Mountain Project TSPA-SR. OECD, Paris, 2002.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    IAEA. Report on radioactive waste disposal. Techn Rep Ser 349. IAEA, Vienna, 1993Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cook, B J, Emel, J L, and Kasperson, R E. Organizing and managing radioactive waste disposal as an experiment. Policy Anal and Mgt 1990, 9(3): 339–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    IAEA. Assessment of regulatory effectiveness. Peer discussions on regulatory practices, PDRP-4. IAEA, Vienna, 1999aGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Flüeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations