Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 506297
Title Nuclear Waste Management under Approaching Disaster : A Comparison of Decommissioning Strategies for the German Repository Asse II
Author(s) Ilg, Patrick; Gabbert, Silke; Weikard, Hans Peter
Source Risk Analysis 37 (2017)7. - ISSN 0272-4332 - p. 1213 - 1232.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/risa.12648
Department(s) Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group
WIMEK
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) Asse II - Cost minimization - Decision making - Decommissioning options - German nuclear waste policies - Nuclear waste disposal - Risk management
Abstract This article compares different strategies for handling low- and medium-level nuclear waste buried in a retired potassium mine in Germany (Asse II) that faces significant risk of uncontrollable brine intrusion and, hence, long-term groundwater contamination. We survey the policy process that has resulted in the identification of three possible so-called decommissioning options: complete backfilling, relocation of the waste to deeper levels in the mine, and retrieval. The selection of a decommissioning strategy must compare expected investment costs with expected social damage costs (economic, environmental, and health damage costs) caused by flooding and subsequent groundwater contamination. We apply a cost minimization approach that accounts for the uncertainty regarding the stability of the rock formation and the risk of an uncontrollable brine intrusion. Since economic and health impacts stretch out into the far future, we examine the impact of different discounting methods and rates. Due to parameter uncertainty, we conduct a sensitivity analysis concerning key assumptions. We find that retrieval, the currently preferred option by policymakers, has the lowest expected social damage costs for low discount rates. However, this advantage is overcompensated by higher expected investment costs. Considering all costs, backfilling is the best option for all discounting scenarios considered.
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