A framework for capturing and representing the decision-making processes to classify nuclear waste

Hume, Seonaid and West, Graeme and Dobie, Gordon (2022) A framework for capturing and representing the decision-making processes to classify nuclear waste. In: Waste Management Conference 2022, 2022-03-06 - 2022-03-10.

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In this paper, we present a new framework for triaging nuclear waste classification inside a nuclear cell as part of the decommissioning process of nuclear facilities. The process of decommissioning includes a large amount of human involvement for decision making, physical inspections and even lifting and relocating radioactive waste items. The current process accounts for risks like close human contact with radioactive material for extended periods of time, and errors based on operator knowledge rather than automated detection systems. Effective, optimized waste management solutions are essential for the safe and secure decommissioning of nuclear power plants and in this paper, we introduce an approach for integrating knowledge-based systems (KBS) with nuclear decommissioning activities, bringing benefits of efficiency and responsiveness to activities performed on daily basis by operators at nuclear facilities. We propose a framework using the CommonKADS methodology, a well-established approach for knowledge management systems, to identify the main decisions in the process for decommissioning a nuclear cell in a nuclear facility. We capture the sources of knowledge required to support and justify decisions made, and the resulting models are reviewed to assess where decisions can be automated, or supported using AI tools, to ensure of robust, reliable, and rapid decisions. The aims of this framework are to provide the first step, and help to support innovation, towards a system able to produce tangible benefits for enhancing safety, economy and reliability of nuclear cell waste classification and decommissioning management. We illustrate the use of the framework with a case study application which demonstrates how a semi-automated decision support system could be built based on the framework.


Hume, Seonaid, West, Graeme ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0884-6070 and Dobie, Gordon ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3972-5917;