Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Thomas Giller


Despite recent considerations weighing against future 'development of nuclear power there are problems created by the substantial number of existing nuclear power plants. Whereas the building and operation of nuclear facilities are covered by detailed legislation, very little attention has been given to nuclear reactor decommissioning. Decommissioning involves the permanent shutdown of a nuclear facility and it is a significant concern as nuclear power plants grow older and more obsolete. This Note discusses what decommissioning is and why it is important and examines the decommissioning policies of three nations with active nuclear power industries: the United States, West Germany, and Canada. The author concludes that nuclear technology has significantly advanced so that it can now provide more accurate and thorough information on reactor decommissioning. This information should be incorporated into each nation's regulatory policy.