Evaluation of soil and groundwater remediation strategies for decommissioning nuclear facilities on the basis of sustainability assessment incorporating net present value

Jooste, Caroline S. (2016) Evaluation of soil and groundwater remediation strategies for decommissioning nuclear facilities on the basis of sustainability assessment incorporating net present value. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The decommissioning of nuclear facilities and remediation of radiological and non radiological contaminated land is currently being undertaken at some Magnox nuclear licensed sites in the UK. Sustainability needs to be considered so that well balanced remediation strategies are chosen that accommodate the long time frames decommissioning can take. Sustainable remediation options assessment involves selecting feasible soil and groundwater strategies to meet risk reduction goals whilst maximising the environmental, social and economic benefits.

This study describes two Magnox nuclear decommissioning sites, Bradwell site in England and Chapelcross site in Scotland. A conceptual site model (CSM) was developed for land and groundwater contamination at each site. Identification and screening of suitable remediation strategies was followed by a sustainability assessment. The Sustainable Remediation Forum UK (SuRF UK) framework was used, incorporating a Net Present Value (NPV) for the economic element and a Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) was applied using a software tool called Hiview.

The exercise showed that feasible soil and groundwater remediation strategies were identified using the SuRF UK Framework and Hiview MCDA soft-ware. The process showed for complex sites it can be timely developing a detailed CSM but it makes screening remediation strategies a much easier process although detailed understanding of techniques is required. The study has shown that a cost estimate can take longer than a sustainability assessment, due to there being limited case studies and examples available within literature due to commercial sensitivity.

This is the first time the Sustainable Remediation Forum UK (SuRF UK) Framework has been applied using Hiview MCDA software to two nuclear decommissioning sites. It is also the first example of applying the SuRF UK Framework to remediation options assessment for radioactive contaminated land. The process showed scoring as a single assessor can introduce bias and that stakeholder involvement for weighting the importance of indicators would be recommended in order to get a true representation. Applying sensitivity analysis and testing alterations in weightings is crucial in ensuring that an assessment is robust. Sites with site specific quantitative data resulted in a more robust assessment and remediation strategies which had the ability to be flexible long term were the more sustainable options.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Nathanail, C.P.
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 33680
Depositing User: Jooste, Caroline
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 08:15
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 07:04
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33680

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