Description: In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to ``develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources`` for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term ``damages`` or ``benefits,`` leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.
Date: November 1, 1992
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