WIT Press

Sustainability Of Nuclear Energy With Regard To Decommissioning And Waste Management


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

303 - 314




369 kb


S. Lindskog, R. Sjöblom & B. Labor


The paper analyses the sustainability aspects of nuclear power with regard to environmental liabilities associated with decommissioning of nuclear facilities and with waste management. Sustainability is defined and literature on evaluation of sustainability in the nuclear and coal energy fields is reviewed. It is found that the results are incoherent and that methodologies for evaluations are needed as well as adequately structured knowledge bases. Examples of such tools and work are presented from the perspective of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. Different aspects of nuclear energy sustainability are reviewed and summarized, and it is found that appropriate management of the nuclear liability associated with protection of health and the environment – now and in the future – is a necessary prerequisite in order for nuclear power to qualify as sustainable. Analyses in a historical perspective show that sustainability awareness has been around for at least as long as agriculture, and that some shortcomings are actually modern inventions. The analyses also show that sustainability awareness may appear as trends and that comprehensive perspectives are essential. Planning for decommissioning and the estimation of associated costs have proven to be treacherous exercises. Moreover, the timing of the planning must be based on the need for appropriate finance so that adequate funds are available at the time when they are needed. It is the duty of our generation to assess what is adequate and to find responsible solutions. But we should also ask the next generation and carefully consider the perspective that they provide to us. Keywords: sustainability, nuclear, liability, segregated fund, cost calculation, younger stakeholders.


sustainability, nuclear, liability, segregated fund, cost calculation, younger stakeholders