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Stakeholder engagement in decommissioning of nuclear installations

Theme leads: Meritxell Martell Lamolla, meritxell.martell@merience.euVladimir Michael V.Michal@iaea.org; Patrick O’Sullivan P.OSullivan@iaea.org

By 2025, it is estimated that over a third of the EU’s currently operational reactors will be at the end of their lifecycle and therefore, the decommissioning of nuclear installations will become an increasingly significant activity for the nuclear sector. The whole process involves all activities from shutdown and removal of nuclear material to the environmental clean-up of the site and can extend over a period of up to 30 years. Whilst the techno-economic aspects of decommissioning have been largely investigated, aspects related to stakeholder engagement remain largely neglected. Furthermore, although some issues of public concern during this phase may be similar to those of the preceding phases (planning, construction and operation), others may be quite different.

The purpose of this session is to contribute to a better understanding of the underlying concepts and principles of stakeholder engagement in decommissioning projects and programmes and incite new thinking about how to meet the challenges. Contributions may address, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Comparison of engagement of stakeholders in decommissioning projects and programmes with other phases of the nuclear lifecycle (planning, construction or operation);
  • the needs, values and interests of different stakeholders (local communities, operator, environmental groups, regulatory authority, etc) and how to reach a compromise;
  • engagement of, interactions and tensions between the local, regional and national levels, as the local views are often considered more important than national views, but the views of stakeholders at national level are also important if there is a need to find alternative sources of electricity;
  • addressing the socio-economic consequences, like decreasing employment rate, the reduction of revenues for the host municipality, the environmental impact, etc;
  • engagement and visualization exercises for the future use of the land use.  

We welcome case studies, stakeholder engagement reports, as well as academic research within this theme.