Decision Making for Complex Socio-Technical Systems

Robustness from Lessons Learned in Long-term Radioactive Waste Governance

  • Thomas Flüeler

Part of the Environment & Policy book series (ENPO, volume 42)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-24
  2. Overall Issue and Methodology

  3. Perspective "From Below": Risk Perception of the Public

  4. Perspective "From Above": Decision Processes

  5. Conclusions and Further Development

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 281-261

About this book


The long-term governance of radioactive waste continues to be a major complex and contentious socio-technical issue worldwide. Traditionally, it has been considered as mainly a challenge to scientists and engineers to develop technical "solutions" to specific problems. But increasingly these narrow solutions have been enlarged by wider societal considerations such as ethics, public involvement, control and retrievability – needs that have in the meanwhile been recognised by the nuclear community, at least in a general way. In this book, we analyse motives for a broad discourse as well as suggest prerequisites to launch it. The author attempts to give a novel, empirically based and technically sound treatment of fundamental issues in long-term management and governance. Written to be accessible to a wide selection of the interested public, the study proposes a combination of technical design issues, analysis methods and institutional backup in a dynamic procedure, and with involvement at all levels of political, commercial and social life.


Complex socio-technical systems Long-term governance Radioactive Waste Robust decision-making processes Sustainable radioactive waste management Technical and societal robustness development

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas Flüeler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Human-Environment Systems, Institute of Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI/UNS) ETH, Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETHZurich
  2. 2.Independent Environmental ConsultantUmweltrecherchen & -gutachtenHausenSwitzerland

Bibliographic information