Optimisation has always been a fundamental concept in decision making for all parts of society, but the way decisions are taken has changed in recent years. Societal considerations towards nuclear-related activities have evolved to promote more holistic, inclusive and sustainable decision-making perspectives. Including these perspectives addresses the need to integrate many diverse aspects and stakeholder views, notably those of civil society, to reach more balanced and “optimised” (i.e. better) decisions. As countries aim to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this need is growing and should also account for national/cultural contexts and the complex interplay between economic, environmental, health and societal aspects.
In line with its pioneering role in encouraging these developments through various workshops, the NEA held its Third Stakeholder Involvement Workshop in September 2023. Focused on “Optimisation in Decision Making”, this workshop is an important step in proposing a common, tangible approach to decision-making processes in the nuclear field and across NEA member countries (and beyond). The ultimate goal was to reach a sustainable, transparent and widely accepted decision-making process that balances the different factors and risks, depending on the prevailing circumstances, and to identify the optimal solution(s) for all stakeholders and society as a whole.
The workshop was preceded by three preparatory webinars that explored a common understanding of optimisation as an approach to decision-making processes across fields in nuclear energy and NEA member countries. The webinars brought together approximately 80 participants for each round of discussions, providing an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the topic in preparation for the September workshop. The summary outcome document of the preparatory webinars is available for download on this page. Additional details about the preparatory webinars can be accessed here.
Gathering stakeholders in Paris for a three-day workshop focused on optimising decision making, the workshop was attended by representatives from government bodies, industry sectors, academic and research institutions, and NGOs from NEA member countries and beyond, along with participants from international organisations.
The workshop was highly interactive, offering plenary presentations, dialogues, and moderated panel discussions. The outcomes will be compiled into a publicly available report.
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