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    Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a modelling technique used to determine the cradle-to-grave environmental and human health impacts from the production of a good or the provision of a service. Radiological protection may benefit from employing tools like LCA to obtain a broader perspective and enable comparison with analyses of non-radiological systems. Despite structural similarities to other well-established decision-aiding techniques (DATs), the impact assessment within LCA (i.e. LCIA) is not commonly used in the optimisation of radiological protection process. This paper provides a brief review of LCA, including LCIA, along with more traditional DATs (such as multi-attribute utility analysis) used in the optimisation process for comparison. Basic concrete shielding was considered as a simple, illustrative example; concrete attenuates emissions from a radiation source but is also associated with a financial cost as well as costs with respect to energy, material, and water use. LCA offers quantification of these and other key resources (termed 'impact categories'). Ultimately, we offer that, depending on the circumstance, LCA can be a useful tool in radiological protection decision-making, complementing existing techniques. Creative Commons Attribution license.


    Bryanna D Wattier, Nicole E Martinez, Michael Carbajales-Dale, Lindsay C Shuller-Nickles. Use of life cycle assessment (LCA) to advance optimisation of radiological protection and safety. Journal of radiological protection : official journal of the Society for Radiological Protection. 2023 Sep 15;43(3)

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    PMID: 37678167

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