Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2003 International Waste Management Symposium


WM Symposia


There are both internal and external pressures on the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce the estimated costs of isolating radioactive waste, $19 billion for transuranic waste at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and $57 billion for high level waste at Yucca Mountain. The question arises whether economic analyses would add to the decision-making process to reduce costs yet maintain the same level of radiological protection. This paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of using cost-benefit analysis (CBA), a tool used to measure economic efficiency as an input for these decisions. Using a comparative research approach, we find that CBA analyses appear particularly applicable where the benefits and costs are in the near term. These findings can help policymakers become more informed on funding decisions and to develop public confidence in the merits of the program for waste disposal.


Cost effectiveness; Nevada – Nevada Test Site; Radioactive waste disposal – Costs; Radioactive waste sites; Radioactive wastes – Management – Costs


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Finance and Financial Management | Nuclear Engineering




Conference held, February 23 – 27, 2003, Tucson, AZ.

Copyright WM Symposia, Inc., 2003. Used by permission.

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