Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Sama Blibao y León

Second Advisor

Jason R. W. Merrick

Third Advisor

Kenneth B. Kahn

Fourth Advisor

Supathorn Phongikaroon

Fifth Advisor

James G. Miller


The final disposal location for used nuclear fuel in the U.S. remains unresolved. A major complication in resolving this issue has historically been the lack of public acceptance. This motivates the creation of a decision making model for selecting a nuclear fuel cycle in the U.S. that incorporates the preferences of the public. A model based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was created, tested, and shown to be problematic in incorporating public opinion into decision objectives. A new model based on Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) has been created. This model contains the fundamental objectives for both technical and non-technical factors in both the short and long term for the decision. Additionally, the relevant subject matter experts involved in a nuclear fuel cycle selection are evaluated based on the public's perception of their qualifications, and environmental scientists are found to be considered equally as qualified as nuclear engineers and scientists.


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