ABSTRACT

The term "decommissioning" may not be in everyone's working vocabulary, people routinely "decommission" things like shoes, appliances, and cars when they wear out or become unsafe or too costly to keep. Since the beginning of military and civilian applications of nuclear energy in the 1940s and 1950s, most attention was directed toward the generation of nuclear power and the production of nuclear weapons rather than the disposal of nuclear waste. The most blatant shortcoming of earlier studies of decommissioning is that there is little information about public reactions, apprehensions, risk perceptions, expenses, disruptions or impressions related to decommissioning. Despite the publication of several documents on decommissioning, including the decommissioning rule and the Generic Environmental Impact Statement, there is little formal public policy on the objectives of decommissioning. Economic cost strongly influences most energy decisions and also plays a major role in nuclear decommissioning policy.