Inderscience Publishers

A risk-risk analysis-based socio-legal abstraction approach to complex decision making in nuclear systems

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Complex risk-based decisions in nuclear systems are largely guided by probabilistic safety assessments and established legal precepts, such as ALARA. Typically, however, there exists a gap between the risk perceptions of experts and those of the public, which adversely affects the societal acceptability of these decisions. Often this gap is amplified by the media and campaign rhetoric, leading to controversies and even societal rejection of some of these decisions. Sifting through the rhetoric and objectively incorporating the underlying societal risk perceptions in decision-making will arguably contribute towards improving the societal acceptability of such risk decisions. To achieve such an improvement in social acceptability, this paper proposes a risk-risk analysis-based socio-legal abstraction approach within a fuzzy decision making framework. As an illustration, the deep geological repository decision-making problem of ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority, is abstracted and solved with hypothetical triangular fuzzy number rank preferences, and the advantages of using such a methodology are demonstrated.

Keywords: complex decision making, fuzzy AHP, precautionary principle, radioactive waste disposal, risk perception, risk-risk analysis, risk assessment, socio-legal abstraction, analytical hierarchy process, nuclear industry, public perception, social acceptability, fuzzy logic, France, nuclear safety, deep geological repository, nuclear waste, waste management

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