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A Comparison Between Probabilistic and Dempster-Shafer Theory Approaches to Model Uncertainty Analysis in the Performance Assessment of Radioactive Waste Repositories

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Model uncertainty is a primary source of uncertainty in the assessment of the performance of repositories for the disposal of nuclear wastes, due to the complexity of the system and the large spatial and temporal scales involved. This work considers multiple assumptions on the system behavior and corresponding alternative plausible modeling hypotheses. To characterize the uncertainty in the correctness of the different hypotheses, the opinions of different experts are treated probabilistically or, in alternative, by the belief and plausibility functions of the Dempster-Shafer theory. A comparison is made with reference to a flow model for the evaluation of the hydraulic head distributions present at a radioactive waste repository site. Three experts are assumed available for the evaluation of the uncertainties associated with the hydrogeological properties of the repository and the groundwater flow mechanisms.

Keywords: Dempster-Shafer theory; model uncertainty; radioactive waste repositories

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2010


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