A Decision-Analysis Framework to Support Risk Assessment for Geologic Radioactive Waste Disposal Systems


  • Olufemi Osidele Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses
  • Osvaldo Pensado
  • Jude McMurry
  • Sitakanta Mohanty
  • Bruce Goodwin


Decision analysis, evidence, perception, radioactive waste, repository system, risk assessment


Safety assessments for geologic radioactive waste disposal systems involve risk assessments that cover many topics within a wide range of technical disciplines. Priorities should be set for investigating these topics to ensure that the most important aspects of the repository behavior are well understood. This paper presents a decision-analysis framework designed to support such risk assessments by identifying important issues upon which to focus technical work. Key attributes of this framework are (i) an analytical procedure that integrates risk perception with technical evidence, (ii) an algorithm that does not involve execution of a mathematical simulation model, and (iii) a set of metrics that indicate the important technical issues for the risk assessments. A demonstration of the decision-analysis framework on a hypothetical geologic repository highlights the joint impact of perception and evidence on decisions that inform priorities for advancing technical work and building confidence in projections of future behavior for radioactive waste disposal systems. Potential applications to other systems analyses are discussed.