Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities

  • Taro Shimada
Part of the An Advanced Course in Nuclear Engineering book series (ACNE)


Decommissioning is a series of measures taken after the main activities associated with a licensed activity or reactor have been terminated and before the regulations set forth in the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors [1] (hereinafter referred to as “Reactor Regulation Act”) are fulfilled, including the transfer of nuclear fuel material, elimination of contamination caused by nuclear fuel material, and disposal of nuclear fuel material or other materials contaminated with nuclear fuel material. Therefore, the dismantling of facilities, which is undertaken after the main activities associated with a licensed activity or reactor have been terminated, is also included in decommissioning. Decommissioning is thus a process to reduce the residual radioactivity of such facilities to the levels necessary for fulfilling the regulations set forth in the Reactor Regulation Act. Because these measures produce various types of radioactive wastes in large amounts in a short period of time, the concept of radioactive waste management needs to be actively incorporated into the planning and implementation of decommissioning. If a decommissioning plan is not adequately formulated, there is a possibility that material that does not need to be handled as radioactive wastes may be improperly classified and handled as such. Furthermore, depending on the dismantling method selected, the amount of secondary wastes generated may increase or decrease and the disposal method for the wastes may also vary. It is therefore important to develop a decommissioning plan based on analytical evaluation, operating history surveys, measurement evaluation and other advance surveys as well as the latest dismantling technology studies. As explained above, there is a close relationship between decommissioning and radioactive waste management.


Radioactive Waste Exposure Dose Site Release Radioactive Material Radioactivity Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Authors 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Japan Atomic Energy AgencyTokaiJapan

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