Societal aspects of radioactive waste management
Arrows pointing up displaying the word: confidence.

A crucial aspect of radioactive waste management (RWM) as well as decommissioning and legacy management is societal and includes developing general community confidence and acceptance of RWM solutions. The decision-making process for RWM, as well as for decommissioning and legacy management, is couched in a socio-political context, in which issues of public concern and stakeholder engagement must be addressed. This especially comes into play when considering final disposal and deep geological repositories. Management of conflict that arises surrounding public confidence, informed consent and agreement with technically supported strategies is also related to effective information, data and knowledge management.

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Decisions related to implementing radioactive waste management (RWM) solutions typically require thorough public examination and the involvement of many stakeholders. Increasing stakeholder confidence is a key to successful realisation of long-term radioactive waste management, and/or developing final repositories.

The Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) was established by the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) in the year 2000 to foster learning about stakeholder dialogue and ways to develop shared confidence, informed consent and acceptance of radioactive waste RWM solutions.

A "stakeholder" is defined as anyone with a role to play or an interest in the process of deciding about RW management. The FSC provides a setting for direct stakeholder exchange in an atmosphere of mutual respect and learning.


Kamishan MARTIN