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Nuclear energy: a sustainable future?

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1 Author(s)
Riley, P. ; Inst. of Environ. Law, De Montfort Univ., Leicester, UK

Regulation of facilities, materials and waste under nuclear law is unique and it might be said that this has caused the development of nuclear technology to be favoured unfairly, but to enable and support future contributions of nuclear energy to a safe and sustainable environment the law relating to nuclear energy has to become integrated into the general area of environmental law. This paper discusses the development of nuclear laws, the public's acceptance of risk and uncertainty, and sustainable development laws. To give nuclear technology a fair hearing and to enable the public to judge its application against alternative processes the notion of sustainable development laws, which integrate development law, environmental law and health and safety law, should apply to all the alternatives including nuclear technology. Such a system of law would encompass the different phases of technology and would include licensing of facilities and products, the use and storage of materials, worker protection, safeguards and disposal of waste. The author takes a brief look at the scenario under each of these categories to identify opportunities to integrate the governing laws and to take advantage of common areas of expertise.

Published in:

Engineering Management Journal  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )