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Comparison of health and environmental impact of energy systems

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) carried out the Coordinated Research Program (CRP) on Comparative Health and Environmental Risks of Nuclear and Other Energy Systems from 1994 to 1998. It is aimed at providing information on up-to-date estimates of health and environmental impacts of viable options for producing electricity, and advancing knowledge on how best to analyse and compare the health and environmental impact from different electricity generation systems. Research institutions from 12 countries have participated in this activity which represented an effective forum for exchange of information (see Appendix 1). This paper summarises some of the results of the Coordinated Research Program, including existing and ongoing studies on estimates of health and environmental impacts. Issues identified during the Program, such as setting bounds for assessment, modelling and analytical uncertainties, and practical and inherent limitations, are also discussed.

Keywords: comparative assessment, health and environmental impacts, electricity generation systems, Impact Pathway Approach, Damage Function Approach

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