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Harvey Farr of RSCS Contributes to Advances and Innovations in Nuclear Decommissioning
Posted on June 27th, 2017

Woodhead Publishing recently released the book Advances and Innovations in Nuclear Decommissioning, edited by Michele Laraia.  This book is a follow up to Nuclear Decommissioning: Planning, Execution and International Experience.  This initial publication documented the mature decommissioning processes that have been effectively implemented over the past several decades.  The recent publication was written to capture newer technologies and decommissioning strategies that have emerged in response to accident scenarios, such as the Fukushima disaster, and to handle the decommissioning of older nuclear plants and research reactors that have been in operation for several decades and pose unique challenges for the dismantlement, decommissioning and free release of the sites.

Harvey Farr of RSCS is a contributing author to Advances and Innovations in Nuclear Decommissioning, bringing over 30 years of experience in the decommissioning arena towards his recommendations for best practices that build upon the first publication’s generally accepted decommissioning methodologies.  The text explores the use of emerging technologies, such as robotics and lasers, to handle decommissioning tasks in extremely hazardous conditions posed by accident sites, improving safety and reducing costs.  The development of new regulations and guidelines by international groups such as the IAEA’s Basic Safety Standards are reviewed to predict the larger international trends on decommissioning approaches.  Streamlining the decommissioning process by combining the activities of dismantlement and remediation is considered using case studies that demonstrate the improved efficiencies this methodology provides.  Workforce knowledge and transmission of data at legacy sites that lack adequate documentation is discussed to promote the sharing of information to next generation workers who will inevitably be relied upon for institutional knowledge at the commencement of a decommissioning project.  Standardizing methodologies for decommissioning cost estimates is explored, with a focus on emerging guidelines from the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency on International Structure for Decommissioning Costing (ISDC).  Lessons learned over the past 10 years are captured to address how breakdowns in communication amongst the workforce or inadequate front end planning can lead to unexpected delays and expense, along with strategies to mitigate these contingencies.  Finally, changes to final ends state planning is considered, as the end goal of unrestricted free release of a site as a greenfield is balanced against the cost savings of releasing a site as a brownfield or limited use property.  Trends towards allowances of this end state planning are considered.

RSCS specializes in managing the radiation protection activities at active decommissioning sites, along with front end planning including decommissioning cost estimates, historical site assessments, derivations of DCGLs and end state criteria, and final plant license terminations and closures.  We are proud to have contributed to Advances and Innovations in Nuclear Decommissioning, a text that will assist plant management and regulators in developing strategies for the successful decommissioning of the many sites posed to come off line in the coming decades.  This book is available for purchase here.

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