The lessons of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima are clear: every safety effort must be taken to prevent another nuclear ‘accident’ from occurring. Prevention is the key.
Currently a paradigm shift is occurring in the nuclear industry, as many plants are closing. It is good business to assure that a revenue-producing asset is safely maintained. However, when a nuclear plant shuts down, that facility could be viewed as a liability by the owner.
It is a different business to decommission a nuclear facility than to operate it. The main activity is no longer to produce electricity efficiently, but to deploy the financial resources of the established nuclear trust fund to safely dismantle the plant and return the site to productive use. And, there is the ongoing challenge of maintaining the nuclear waste safely at the site.
This paradigm shift has produced a new business model for the nuclear industry. As nuclear plants close, many owner/operators divest themselves of the facility, and transfer it to an entity which specializes in decommissioning nuclear power plants. Some of these entities are also interested in moving the nuclear waste to facilities that could store, and possibly re-process, the nuclear waste.
The issues concerning decommissioning and nuclear waste pose new challenges to the companies engaged in these pursuits, as well as the surrounding communities and the region as a whole. Often interested parties are not fully cognizant of the challenges posed, nor do they have satisfactory answers to their concerns.
In addition, there are often larger issues which need to be confronted, such as is it safer to continue to store nuclear waste on site, or is it better to transport it to a facility specially designed to deal with nuclear waste.
NUCLEAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS INC. (NESI) was created to address the challenges of decommissioning of nuclear power plants as well as the storage and handling of nuclear waste. NESI focuses on providing consulting services to companies, governments, NGOs, and other interested parties to have their particular situation analyzed and possible solutions proposed.
NESI is a partner in an internet TV channel dealing with various aspects of the nuclear industry, which can be accessed at www.nuclearenergytv.com.