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Challenges and Solutions for societal aspects of environmental remediation

Theme leads: Horst Monken Fernandez, Monken-Fernandes@iaea.org and Tanja Perko, tperko@sckcen.be

Despite the significant progress that has been made in moving forward Environmental Remediation (ER) of contaminated sites worldwide, much remains to be done to clean up historically abandoned sites and legacies from the early development of nuclear energy and to address non-nuclear, yet radioactive challenges, such as sites contaminated with Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM). Many countries have initiated ER programmes, but have faced not only financial and technical constraints but also social and political challenges that have ultimately impeded progress. Among others, long-term solutions often still need to be developed for management of the radioactive waste resulting from decontamination works within a stakeholder engagement process. There are different challenges in this aspect, among others lack of information,  lack of trust, stakeholders’ opposition to implementation of ER projects. In order to reach a sustainable and safe end state, governments and implementers need to engage stakeholders in the decision-making process and to respond to societal challenges. Therefore the purpose of this session is to contribute to establishing a better understanding of the underlying social and ethical concepts and principles involved on stakeholder engagement in the scope of ER with a view of establishing effective, transparent and inclusive approaches to decision making in the implementation of project in this area. Contributions may address, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Approaches that allow and facilitate stakeholder engagement in decision making process in ER projects identifying key points for stakeholder participation.
  • Determination of site end-sate whenever unrestricted reuse of is not possible.
  • Strategies for public communication and stakeholder involvement in articulation with the overarching national environmental remediation framework (policy and strategies) including the establishment of effective mechanisms for dialogue, with clear allocation of roles and responsibilities.
  • Risk communication and perception in ER situations
  • Societal engagement in ER projects
  • Recent experiences, both positive and negative, on implementation of remediation projects vis-à-vis stakeholder related aspects.