NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making
Objectives and scope

Nuclear issues are embedded with broader societal issues such as the environment, risk management, energy and health policies, and sustainability. As such, nuclear projects often generate considerable interest and concern from stakeholders. In this context "stakeholder" is intended to be taken in its broadest sense and should include concerned public, businesses, economic actors, NGOs, local, regional and national authorities, nuclear regulators, etc. Anyone who has relevant information, experience or concerns may seek to participate in the decision making process, and to interact with other stakeholders.

Nuclear regulators, governments, operators, and other decision makers have a responsibility to ensure a high degree of transparency and to make clear and well-reasoned decisions. In this respect, there is an increasing demand for stakeholder involvement, participation and engagement. Across NEA member countries, many different approaches are taken to stakeholder involvement as decisions are made and implemented.

Well-informed decisions broadly reflect the input of stakeholder views in a balanced fashion, the achievement of which can be difficult to assess. Attempts to achieve such broad understanding of views and acceptance of resulting decisions are an important part of building public confidence. Additionally, interested citizens, other stakeholders, and non-governmental organisations often call upon decision processes to be conducted in a manner that maintains public confidence. This workshop was not about what decision is made. Rather, it was about decision making processes used to reflect stakeholder concerns and input. How does one effectively involve stakeholders? How does one build and assess public confidence? How can broader stakeholder involvement help decision makers to make well-informed decisions that effectively address stakeholder views?

On 17-19 January 2017, the NEA hosted a workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making to address the above and other related questions. While examining a number of case studies, the workshop drew upon expertise and applications across multiple domains of NEA work, including the Forum on Stakeholder Confidence, the Radioactive Waste Management Committee, the Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health, the Committee on the Nuclear Regulatory Activities, the Nuclear Law Committee and the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle, to share perspectives and document best practices and lessons learnt from nuclear and non-nuclear activities alike on how to best involve stakeholders in the decision making process.

The scope of the workshop included, inter alia:

  • various levels of stakeholder involvement, the terms and their meanings
  • aspects of or factors in effective and ineffective involvement of stakeholders
  • respective roles in effective stakeholder participation practices
  • factual accuracy while encouraging differing positions and information
  • approaches to enable trust and well-informed decisions
  • the interrelationships between different areas of expert domains.

The format of the workshop was highly interactive. Participants were encouraged to commit to the full three days as they would be interacting with individuals in different subject areas. The participants were divided into smaller groups and time was allocated for cross-cutting dialogues to capture different perspectives on stakeholder involvement. The workshop outcomes were compiled into a report and shared with the NEA member countries.

Workshop presentations

Day 1 – Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Keynote speech
Stephen G. Burns, Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Session 1: Legal frameworks and international conventions
The role of the Aarhus and Espoo Conventions in promoting effective public participation in nuclear decision making
Maryna Yanush, Aarhus Convention Secretariat, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Jerzy Jendroska, member of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee and member of the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee
A perspective on the national implementation of the conventions to nuclear activities (written contribution)
Marc Beyens, General Counsel, ENGIE Electrabel, Belgium
Stakeholder involvement in international conventions governing civil nuclear activities
Sam Emmerechts, Lawyer Linguist, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg
The national legal framework in France
Florence Touïtou-Durand, Legal and Claims Director, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
The national legal framework in the United States
Martha Crosland, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Civilian Nuclear Programs, Department of Energy, United States
Session 2: Regulatory perspectives
Stakeholder involvement activities in Slovakia
Marta Žiaková, Chair of the NEA Steering Committee, Director-General of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic
NRA's commitment to transparent regulatory process
Masashi Hirano, Chair of the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations Programme Review Group (CSNI PRG), Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan
Stakeholder involvement in the French regulatory system
Guillaume Bouyt, Director reporting to Director-General, French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN)
Stakeholder involvement in nuclear decision making in the Russian Federation
Alexey Ferapontov, Deputy Chairman, Rostechnadzor, Russia
Session 3. Radiological protection
Overview of session and introduction of speakers
Chair: Ryugo Hayano, Tokyo University, Japan
NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) Stakeholder Involvement Experience
Mike Boyd, CRPPH Chair, United States Environmental Protection Agency
The UK Sciencewise Programme
Andrew Mayall, Environment Agency, United Kingdom
Sami Reindeer Herders Post-Chernobyl
Yevgeniya Tomkiv, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Centre for Environmental Radioactivity (CERAD), Norway
JAEC's initiative to increase public understanding of nuclear energy
Hideo Kawabuchi, Counsellor for Atomic Energy, Bureau of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Cabinet Office, Japan
Day 2 – Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Session 4. Radioactive waste management
Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) – A Platform to build and share knowledge about stakeholder confidence in radioactive waste management
Pascale Künzi, Chair of the FSC, Swiss Federal Office of Energy
Reflections on stakeholder involvement
Kathryn Shaver, Former Vice-President, Adaptive Phased Management (APM) Engagement and Site Selection, Nuclear Waste Management Organisation, Canada
Case study: Sweden
Johanna Yngve Törnqvist, Municipality of Östhammar
Sara Björklund, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB)
Ansi Gerhardsson, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM)
Case study: Switzerland
Pascale Künzi, FSC Chair, Swiss Federal Office of Energy
Philip Birkhäuser, National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), Switzerland
Stakeholder engagement of radioactive waste – Australia's experience
Katherine Smith, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
Session 5. New nuclear facilities
Partnerships and opportunity: A Canadian success story
Sharonne Katz, Natural Resources Canada
Informing and involving stakeholders in the context of the Finnish decision making process
Hanna Vanhatalo, Fennovoima, Finland
Stakeholder involvement and public debate
Pierre-Franck Thomé-Jassaud, Communication Manager, EDF, France
Session 6. Extended operations of nuclear facilities
Licence renewal of Wolsong 1 in Korea
Su Hwan Bae, General Manager of Plant Strategy Project Office, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company Ltd (KHNP), Korea
Long-term operation of existing reactors in Switzerland
Ralf Straub, International Nuclear Energy Specialist, Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), Switzerland
Day 3 – Thursday, 19 January 2017
Governmental perspective on stakeholder involvement
Julian Gadano, Undersecretary of Nuclear Energy, Secretary of Electric Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mining, Argentina
Session 7. Stakeholder involvement in other sectors
Overview of session and introduction of speakers
Chair: Maarten Wolsink, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Case study: High-voltage electricity transmission
Nadejda Komendantova, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Case study: Carbon capture and storage
Francois Kalaydjian, IFP Energies nouvelles, France
Common misconceptions on stakeholder involvement
Maarten Wolsink, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Session 8. Media and stakeholder involvement
Disseminating information through social media
Holly Harrington, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Emmanuel Bouchot, ASN, France
Communications lessons learned from the 2014 radiological release event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Timothy Runyon, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Recovery Communications, Department of Energy, United States
Role of journalism in stakeholder involvement
Eva González Herrero, Europa Press, Spain
Closing session
Moderator: Workshop wrap-up and conclusions
Ann Maclachlan