Stakeholder involvement in nuclear decision making is a global issue of increasing importance. In this context, the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) facilitates exchange of experiences on decisions and approaches to the management of radioactive waste and the conduct of decommissioning activities.
The group held its annual plenary meeting on 12-14 October 2021 to discuss its ongoing work and the progress made in activities on youth involvement and stakeholder involvement in decommissioning and legacy management. The meeting agenda also included national updates on the topics relevant to FSC work.
A thematic session on the role of regional administrations for public consultation was among the highlights of the meeting. The participants agreed that site selection procedures for radioactive waste management solutions must be based on wide consultation - including not only the local communities but also the regional governance and administration entities in these discussions.
Another thematic session focused on the symbolic dimension of the language used in association with radioactive waste and decommissioning activities. Key concepts related to nuclear waste management may have symbolic meanings beyond dictionary definitions and may also be interpreted differently by various stakeholder groups. As such, in order to advance waste management programmes, it is of crucial importance to understand the needs of different stakeholder communities and communicate .
In the coming months, the FSC will also organise several international workshops, including a national workshop in Finland in April 2022, a joint workshop with the Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) in Switzerland in May 2022, and a national workshop in Belgium in October 2022. The group will also contribute to the organisation of the Sixth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR), which will be held in Helsinki in April 2022.