At a time of renaissance in the nuclear power industry, when it is estimated that anywhere between 60 to 130 new power reactors may be built worldwide over the next 15 years, why should we focus on decommissioning? Yet it is precisely the time to examine what decommissioning considerations should be taken into account as the industry proceeds with developing final designs for new reactors and the construction on the new build begins. One of the lessons learned from decommissioning of existing reactors has been that decommissioning was not given much thought when these reactors were designed three or four decades ago. Even though decommissioning may be sixty years down the road from the time they go on line, eventually all reactors will be decommissioned. It is only prudent that new designs be optimized for eventual decommissioning, along with the other major considerations. The overall objective in this regard is that when the time comes for decommissioning, it can be completed in shorter time frames, with minimum generation of radioactive waste, and with better radiological safety. This will ensure that the tail end costs of the power reactors are manageable and that the public confidence in the nuclear power is sustained through the renaissance and beyond.

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