On 15 September, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC).
On this occasion, a one-day open colloquium in Paris will take stock of FSC achievements, conduct a multi-stakeholder discussion of important governance themes in radioactive waste management, and gather guidance on new directions to be taken by the FSC in the coming years. The colloquium will welcome some 80 participants: local and national opinion-leaders and stakeholder representatives, government policy and regulatory officials, R&D specialists, implementers and industry representatives from 16 countries.
Over the years, the work of the Forum on Stakeholder Confidence has highlighted and documented the growing empowerment of the public in radioactive waste management. Important changes in the past decade include a shift from overt conflict or resigned acceptance of facility siting proposals, to volunteering and collaboration by local communities. Community empowerment measures and socio-economic benefits are recognised as legitimate. A great variety of arrangements for collaboration now exist. New ideals and bases for collaboration have also emerged, including mutual learning, adding value to the host community/region and sustainable development.
The Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) was created in 2000 to share international experience in addressing the societal dimension of radioactive waste management. The FSC provides a setting for direct stakeholder exchange in an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning. A wealth of experience has been documented through topical sessions and studies and, in particular, through the Forum’s seven national workshops and community visits. Study reports and two-page flyers summarising the lessons learnt are available in several languages on the FSC web page.
A new flyer has been issued on the occasion of the FSC anniversary, “From Information and Consultation to Citizen Influence and Power”, summarising the evolution of stakeholder engagement in radioactive waste management over the past ten years.
Four major FSC reports have provided the basis for analysing evolutions and the societal dimension of radioactive waste management (available at www.oecd-nea.org/pub/webpubs): Public Information, Consultation and Involvement in Radioactive Waste Management (2003), Learning and Adapting to Societal Requirements for Radioactive Waste Management (2004), Fostering a Durable Relationship between a Waste Management Facility and its Host Community (2007) and Partnering for Long-term Management of Radioactive Waste (2010).
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NEA membership consists of 31 countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low‑carbon economies.