Keywords: research reactors, nuclear decommissioning, health impact, environmental impact, nuclear hazards, nuclear risk, critical infrastructures, vulnerabilities, abnormalities, nuclear safety, small nuclear reactors
Critical issues with 'minor league' nuclear infrastructures: the back end of the life cycle
The paper attempts to draw attention to a number of issues that may go underplayed on the agenda of the critical infrastructure analysts concerned with risks: the vulnerabilities induced by nuclear research facilities facing decommissioning. The notion that the 'small nuclear' facility may show, in such circumstances, sizeable risks, even in comparison with the 'big nuclear' facility, in consideration of the fact that a higher probability of abnormality may compensate the relatively lower consequence factor in the risk equation is offered for consideration. The findings are believed to be particularly true in resource- and management-deficient, safety-subcultural, and geopolitically-uncertain environments.