Chapter 55
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities


Chapter 55, authored by Anibal L. Taboas, provides an overview of the deactivation, decontamination and decommissioning (commonly known as D&D) of nuclear facilities. This chapter addresses the determination of decommissioning alternatives, the planning required for decommissioning (both preliminary and detailed project planning), facility characterization, decommissioning operations and project close-out.

The decommissioning alternatives address approaches acceptable to the U.S. NRC, and approaches used by U.S. DOE facilities. Decommissioning pre-planning discusses the regulatory requirements of a number of federal agencies including the U.S. NRC, U.S. EPA, OSHA and U.S. DOT. Decommissioning financial considerations are also addressed along with clearance criteria, license termination, use of technology, radiation exposure, project management quality assurance, public and stakeholder participation and other aspects of pre-planning. Characterization addresses the determination of site and facility contaminants (both radioactive and non-radioactive that may require remediation). Additionally the chapter addresses the detailed project management approaches including cost estimating and scheduling required to effectively complete a decommissioning project. Lastly, the chapter addresses actions needed for effective project closeout and potential actions needed for long term site monitoring or maintenance.

This chapter is based primarily on “The Decommissioning Handbook”, published by ASME in 2004, which includes an extensive bibliography and a compact disk with technology descriptions.

  • 55.1 Introduction
  • 55.2 Evaluation of Decommissioning Alternatives
  • 55.3 Decommissioning Pre-Planning
  • 55.4 Decommissioning Characterization Planning
  • 55.5 Detailed Decommissioning Planning
  • 55.6 Decommissioning Operations
  • 55.7 Closeout and Post-Decommissioning
  • 55.8 Summary
  • 55.9 References

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