In this paper we describe a proposed UK national approach to modelling decommissioning. For the first time, we shall have an insight into optimizing the safety and efficiency of a national decommissioning strategy. To do this we use the General Case Integrated Waste Algorithm (GIA), a universal model of decommissioning nuclear plant, power plant, waste arisings and the associated knowledge capture. The model scales from individual items of plant through cells, groups of cells, buildings, whole sites and then on up to a national scale. We describe the national vision for GIA which can be broken down into three levels: 1) the capture of the chronological order of activities that an experienced decommissioner would use to decommission any nuclear facility anywhere in the world — this is Level 1 of GIA; 2) the construction of an Operational Research (OR) model based on Level 1 to allow rapid what if scenarios to be tested quickly (Level 2); 3) the construction of a state of the art knowledge capture capability that allows future generations to learn from our current decommissioning experience (Level 3). We show the progress to date in developing GIA in levels 1 & 2. As part of level 1, GIA has assisted in the development of an IMechE professional decommissioning qualification. Furthermore, we describe GIA as the basis of a UK-Owned database of decommissioning norms for such things as costs, productivity, durations etc. From level 2, we report on a pilot study that has successfully tested the basic principles for the OR numerical simulation of the algorithm. We then highlight the advantages of applying the OR modelling approach nationally. In essence, a series of “what if…” scenarios can be tested that will improve the safety and efficiency of decommissioning.

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