Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants: Policies, Strategies by Nuclear Energy Agency

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Belgium, Germany, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom are examples of countries with general clearance levels stipulated in national legislation. The costs for the management and disposal of radioactive waste can be a substantial part of the overall decommissioning costs. Therefore, the availability and acceptance criteria of existing or planned repositories, the need for on-site interim storage facilities and the allowable clearance or free release levels impact on the selection of decommissioning strategy.

4. 4 relates to the radioactive reactor materials only and shows that gas-cooled reactors (GCRs) produce significantly more radioactive waste than all other reactor types. For all other reactor types, the weight of radioactive reactor materials are generally lower and show less variability within each reactor type. 5 shows data for all radioactive materials, not just that related to the reactors. Again, GCRs have the largest quantity of radioactive materials but the variability of quantities within each reactor type is broader than for radioactive reactor materials.

11. This shows that 21 utilities identified the immediate dismantling option, 21 identified a deferred dismantling option and one (German utilities) retained both options. No utility or country identified any other option (such as entombment) as a lead option for cost estimates. When looking at this information on a country basis, instead of a utility basis, then only 8 countries consider the immediate dismantling option for cost estimating purposes, 11 countries consider the deferred dismantling option and 5 countries consider both immediate and deferred dismantling options.

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