Decommissioning activities are clearly set to increase internationally, giving rise to a sizeable market, growing in business and competition. Meanwhile, ongoing decommissioning work continue at a sustained rate in the numerous legacy sites. It is thus clear that the challenges faced by the industry in relation to decommissioning are significant, spanning technical, political, financial, social and environmental issues, and raising questions over the adequacy of the necessary expertise and infrastructure, as well as the ability to finance the costs. One factor that adds complexity is the state of knowledge on decommissioning costs, with cost estimations showing significant differences from one country to another, even between facilities of the same type.
Therefore, the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and Fuel Cycle (NDC) decided to include in its programme of work for 2013-2014 a study on the costs of decommissioning, to be developed by the Expert Group on Costs of Decommissioning (COSTSDEC). The work was conducted in collaboration with the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC), both represented in the Expert Group.