We carry out our own public and stakeholder engagement (PSE) and scrutinise the PSE activities of other organisations involved in the management of higher activity radioactive wastes.
Importance of PSE
PSE is an important part of our work (see our Terms of Reference).
We use this engagement to collect evidence, gather your views and check the accuracy of our documents.
How we carry out our PSE
We meet with various groups of stakeholders, including Local Authorities, people living near nuclear sites, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Governments, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, operators of nuclear sites and regulators.
Our plenary meetings are open to the public and we usually hold public meetings when we visit nuclear sites.
Scrutiny of others’ PSE
In March 2011 we published a position paper on the PSE of other organisations (doc. 2850). The paper described the results of our scrutiny of the PSE of Governments and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), although, in order to give a fuller picture, it also referred to the PSE of other organisations.
We found that there has been considerable effort and resource devoted to PSE over the past few years with a focus on new nuclear build, the development of the Scottish Government policy on higher activity waste and local PSE in West Cumbria. We recognised that various organisations have made efforts to improve their PSE and that there are new PSE strategies and PSE coordination initiatives being developed. We concluded that we would need to monitor the effectiveness of these developments.
We also said in the paper (doc. 2850
) that we had concerns that, in the current economic climate, PSE may be reduced in priority when the majority of the engagement required for the long-term management of higher activity wastes has yet to come. In our 2011-12 Annual Report (doc. 3036
) we noted that this has not happened and that, at some organisations, resources on PSE have increased. We think it is important that this trend continues
Providing information to the public about radioactive waste management
We want information about radioactive waste management to be more accessible to the public. The DECC MRWS website and the NDA website both contain extensive information about radioactive waste management. We scrutinise developments on these websites and other ways that information is made available to the public.
Our 2009 interim storage and R&D (doc 2500) reports to Government made recommendations on the provision of information and we are monitoring the actions being taken in response. As we have noted in our 2011-12 Annual Report, more information about higher activity wastes is being made available to the public and we encourage NDA and others to ensure that even more is made available in future.