Nuclear Energy Safety: Comparative Assessments of Radiological Impacts on the Public from the Commercial Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the U.S.;pp. 1-54
Authors: (Charles W. Pennington, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA)
Abstract: The use of commercial nuclear energy for electricity production in the U.S. presently enjoys a broad endorsement of policies for restoring the nuclear alternative (called ReNuAl herein) in the U.S. However, historical opposition to nuclear energy usage remains very active, and efforts by this opposition to heighten public fears of ionizing radiation from commercial nuclear energy assure the perseverance of the radiation fear issue associated with nuclear power generation for many years. The U.S. commercial nuclear power industry is a complete enterprise that encompasses a number of discrete functions, from resource extraction to fuel production to power generation to spent fuel storage and transport to disposal. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has performed a landmark risk assessment of spent fuel transport in the U.S., demonstrating the guiding principles and methods for use in comparative risk assessments involving radiation dose considerations. This chapter broadens the NAS methods application to consider the risk of the complete U.S. nuclear fuel cycle and expansion of the commercial nuclear energy alternative in the U.S. by a factor of 3 over the coming decades to evaluate the ionizing radiation dose risks of such expansion and compare them to those routinely accepted by society for seven non-nuclear industries whose radiological characteristics are not, and likely will never be, regulated.