The development of nuclear power is based on a faith which the public places in technology to solve all problems. Decommissioning of nuclear power plants will be the next leap the public is asked to make. This article uses evidence from the Sizewell Inquiry to identify generic and geosocial decommissioning uncertainties and discusses them within a policy and research framework. Six conclusions are advanced: social uncertainties will not be resolved within a technical context alone; decommissioning costs are underestimated; most decommissioning decisions must be made on a case-by-case, not generic, basis; decommissioning should be included routinely in local land planning decisions; further nuclear development should await decommissioning experience; and decommissioning should be included in all future nuclear policy decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law