Article   |   Kristina Gillin   |   31.03.2021

Making the case for sustainable decommissioning

Kristina Gillin, our voice on nuclear decommissioning, tells TotalDecom 2018 why it's time to question the current paradigm and find a way to reduce costs, risks and uncertainties.

With more and more nuclear, oil & gas and other industrial assets nearing decommissioning, it is time to question the current paradigm and find a way to reduce costs, risks and uncertainties.

While it is widely recognized that decommissioning of nuclear, oil & gas and other heavy industrial assets is a growth industry, experience to date has shown that decommissioning rarely is a straight forward process. Plans have a tendency to be opposed; waste solutions are often not available; timelines change – in turn, frequently leading to increased costs and reduced trust. This puts into question whether the current approach to decommissioning is sustainable.

At TotalDECOM 2018 in Manchester, this topic will be explored by LR’s Kristina Gillin, Principal Consultant in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management. In her presentation entitled ‘’Sustainable Decommissioning – What, Why, How?” an alternative approach will also be offered – a holistic approach that views decommissioning through a sustainability lens.

“By recognising that an industrial site that is about to be decommissioned is a complex adaptive system and designing the process accordingly, tremendous benefits emerge – not only for owners but for workers, local communities and society at large” said Gillin.

Rather than viewing a site at the end of its operational life as merely liabilities – sustainable decommissioning focuses on the value that each of the system’s components might have post-decommissioning. Be it structures, systems or materials that can be reused, worker skills that can be leveraged or areas that provide important habitats, shedding light on the unique set of assets that each site encompasses will ensure that social, economic and environmental impacts are minimized. “Collaboration with external stakeholders is another cornerstone, with the first step being to create a new, shared vision for the site; this builds trust, resilience and a common goal towards which to direct decommissioning activities – in turn reducing costs, uncertainties and risks” said Gillin.

As an independent organization with comprehensive understanding of the challenges associated with end-of-life management in oil & gas, nuclear, shipping and other industries, LR is uniquely positioned to facilitate dialogue and lead the way towards a sustainable decommissioning paradigm. We offer a full range of consulting services related to decommissioning and waste management – from high-level strategic planning to in-depth, technical analyses.

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