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Multi-criteria decision making in site selection for nuclear power plants

Tuncer, Berna
Nuclear energy is an important alternative energy source. However the construction of nuclear power plants (NPP) requires the consideration of various factors, such as environmental, economic, socioeconomic, health and safety. Accordingly, selection of the most suitable site for the construction of a nuclear power plant yields to a multi-criteria decision making problem. Seismic hazard, environmental conditions, population, health hazards, availability of water resources (for cooling purposes) are among the main factors which should be taken into consideration. The probabilistic methodology leading to the identification of the optimal alternative site will utilize probability, statistics, reliability, utility and multi-criteria decision making tools. In illustrating the implementation of the methodology that is developed in the study, two candidate NPP sites in Turkey are considered, namely, Mersin-Akkuyu and Sinop-Abalı. In the evaluation of these two sites, seismic hazard is taken as the main factor. Because of various sources of uncertainties, probabilistic seismic hazard methodology is used in the study. After identifying the other important criteria like extreme wind hazard, tsunami hazard, distance to facilities, population density etc. for site selection, multi-criteria decision analysis is utilized. The optimal alternative site which fulfills the selected criteria is identified and recommended as the output of the methodology.