This paper offers a personal perspective on the author's experience working with issues relating to the long-term management of nuclear contaminated sites, from the programmatic to the site-specific. Long-term care is and will be far more challenging than remediation activities; thus, the dynamics of long-term care require different approaches to problem solving. The need for nonlinear thinking will challenge management that has traditionally relied on linear approaches. Integrated risk management potentially offers some powerful and flexible tools for identifying and managing uncertainties. Managing uncertainties involves not only traditional budget, schedule, cost, and worker safety issues, but also other influences that are not easily quantifiable, including regulatory, cultural, social, political, legal, and “quality” issues. Understanding and incorporating changes in social context is critical to the planning and implementation processes of long-term care; the Department of Energy (DOE) must utilize processes that have consistency over time and that involve the public throughout the process. Management in the long term must reflect an understanding of how human systems function and how they couple with technological systems. DOE's relative success with its Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program exhibits some of these components. Many are now recognizing these components as key needs for any long-term care program for long-lived hazards.
Bierley, D. (2006), "A 19-Year Perspective on Long-Term Care Issues", Leschine, T.M. (Ed.) Long-Term Management of Contaminated Sites (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 213-226. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0196-1152(06)13009-4
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