Any significant decisions regarding geologic disposal of radioactive waste will need a comprehensive public review and a thorough involvement of all relevant stakeholders, such as waste generators, waste management agencies, regulatory authorities, local communities and elected officials. The participation of non-technical stakeholders will become increasingly important as more countries move towards siting and implementing geologic repositories.
The decision-making process and avenues for stakeholder inolvement differ from country to country. It is important to identify similarities and differences, understand the key concerns of the various stakeholders, and develop means to interact effectively. The Nuclear Energy Agency recently set up a Forum on Stakeholder Confidence charged with distilling the lessons that can be learnt from national and international experience.
These proceedings of the Forum’s first workshop held in August 2000 provide an overview of OECD countries’ experience in the field of stakeholder confidence and radioactive waste disposal.