Advancing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Managing Defense Nuclear Waste in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges for Risk Analysis

Michael R. Greenberg, George Apostolakis, Timothy Fields, Bernard D. Goldstein, David Kosson, Steven Krahn, R. Bruce Matthews, James Rispoli, Jane Stewart, Richard Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

An omnibus spending bill in 2014 directed the Department of Energy to analyze how effectively Department of Energy (DOE) identifies, programs, and executes its plans to address public health and safety risks that remain as part of DOE's remaining environmental cleanup liabilities. A committee identified two dozen issues and associated recommendations for the DOE, other federal agencies, and the U.S. Congress to consider, as well as other stakeholders such as states and tribal nations. In regard to risk assessment, the committee described a risk review process that uses available data, expert experience, identifies major data gaps, permits input from key stakeholders, and creates an ordered set of risks based on what is known. Probabilistic risk assessments could be a follow-up from these risk reviews. In regard to risk management, the states, in particular, have become major drivers of how resources are driven. States use different laws, different priorities, and challenge DOE's policies in different ways. Land use decisions vary, technology choices are different, and other notable variations are apparent. The cost differences associated with these differences are marked. The net result is that resources do not necessarily go to the most prominent human health and safety risks, as seen from the national level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-388
Number of pages14
JournalRisk Analysis
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)

Keywords

  • DOE
  • risk assessment
  • risk management

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