Where is it appropriate to build?
Siting plays a significant role in decision making for a Nuclear Power Program. Its disregard may result in financial losses, affect public acceptance and the whole project safety.
Choosing an appropriate site for an NPP is a complex and comprehensive process while plenty of issues need to be considered such as nuclear safety, environmental, technical, economic, social and political factors.
The stages of siting include:
- Site survey – weighing of the country or region at large is based on nuclear safety and security issues, emergency planning considerations, population density, distance from populated areas.
- Site selection stage – assessing the chosen sites by further ranking on a wide range of criteria that cover safety, engineering, socio-economic, environmental and cost issues.
- Site assessment stage – further detail investigation of the chosen site, its characteristics in order to derivate site-related design basis parameters.
- Pre-operational stage – continuous monitoring of the site before operation, formally conforming the suitability of the site, submission of a nuclear license application to the regulatory body.
- Operational stage – monitoring and regular site review during the nuclear power plant operation.
The selection and development of the site should be done transparently, providing the information to the stakeholders, respecting the fundamental rights of human beings, promoting responsible stewardship of natural resources and ensuring their efficient use. The decision on the site should be acceptable to society and be guided by sustainable development principles and best practices to a siting projects.