25 Years of MCDA in nuclear emergency management

K. Nadia Papamichail, Simon French

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    Radiation accidents such as those at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and, more recently, Fukushima have emphasized the need for supporting all phases of emergency management from the early phases in which a threat is detected to years and decades after the accident. Several decision-aiding tools have been developed to prevent and mitigate the effects of a radiation accident. This work reviews a range of mathematical models, computing tools and, particularly, multi-criteria decision-making techniques that have been applied in the last 25 years to help politicians, health officials, local authority representatives and emergency planning officers devise better countermeasure strategies in the event of a radiation accident. The paper discusses all phases of a nuclear emergency as well as emergency training and planning. It highlights what has been achieved in the application of multi-criteria decision analysis, mainly through initiatives such as the EU-funded real-time online decision support projects. It examines how such tools that have been developed fit into the formulation, evaluation and appraisal stages of the emergency management process and discusses the complex socio-technical issues that arise from radiation accidents. © The authors 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)481-503
    Number of pages22
    JournalIMA Journal of Management Mathematics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • crisis management
    • decision-support systems
    • extreme events
    • Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA)
    • nuclear and radiation emergency management
    • RODOS
    • stakeholder engagement


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