Socio-technical multi-criteria evaluation of nuclear waste management strategies: Introducing the method

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François Diaz-Maurin , Jerold Yu, Rodney C. Ewing 


In the absence of a federal geologic repository or consolidated, interim storage in the United States, commercial spent fuel will remain stranded at some 75 sites across the country. Currently, these include 18 “orphaned sites” where spent fuel has been left at decommissioned reactor sites. In this context, local communities living close to decommissioned nuclear power plants are increasingly concerned about this legacy of nuclear power production and are seeking alternative options to move the spent fuel away from those sites. In this paper, we present a framework and method for the socio-technical multi-criteria evaluation (STMCE) of spent fuel management strategies. The STMCE approach consists of (i) a multi-criteria evaluation that provides an ordinal ranking of alternatives based on a list of criterion measurements; and (ii) a social impact analysis that provides an outranking of options based on the assessment of their impact on concerned socio-technical actors. STMCE can handle quantitative, qualitative or both types of information. It can also integrate stochastic uncertainty on criteria measurements and fuzzy uncertainty on assessments of social impacts. We provide a numerical example to illustrate the outputs generated by the STMCE method using published data. The STMCE method provides a new way to compare nuclear waste management strategies and support the search for compromise solutions.



Environmental Engineering, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other Environmental Sciences, Risk Analysis, Sustainability


impact assessment, conflict analysis, radioactive waste, multi-criteria analysis, geologic repository


Published: 2020-11-06 16:19

Last Updated: 2020-11-09 04:19

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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