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Social and ethical aspects in, and of, long-term exposure situations

Theme leads: Pascal Crouail, and Michiel Van Oudhesden,

This session invites presentations that address the social and ethical aspects of long-term radiological risk situations.

We start from the assertion that long-term radiological exposure situations (e.g. post-accident, NORM or TeNORM sites) constitute a complex, often unstructured problem that cannot be remedied by scientific expertise alone. Nor, indeed, does scientific expertise necessarily agree on long-term effects or implications of radiological contexts. Many situations necessitate an expansive process of decision-making with multiple stakeholders (decision makers, scientists and technologists, civil society, publics) and for extended periods of time. Beyond this need for co-decision-making, long-term radiological situations raise a multitude of other questions e.g. how can technical debates on exposure limits and associated risks be informed by SSH perspectives? Building on this, we urge presenters to explore with us the how’s, why’s, and wherefores of practices, action and decision-making in long-term exposure situations.

Papers may address the following, and more:

  • Who should be involved in decision-making?
  • What forms could co-decision-making take and what is required to bring these about?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches (e.g. dialogues) and what is at stake (e.g. knowledge, uncertainties, solutions)?
  • What can be reasonably expected outcomes from dialogues and other approaches? What are appropriate levels of scale and complexity in the assessment of radiological situations?
  • How are ‘acceptable levels’ of uncertainty produced and why?
  • Can evidence be enhanced through comparing and/or combining technical and social knowledge (e.g. combing environmental and human monitoring data and simulation results)?