GSL is internationally recognised for its knowledge and practical experience in stakeholder consultation in both the nuclear and non-nuclear sectors. We have worked on a wide range of issues requiring stakeholder consultation – nuclear examples include reactor decommissioning, legacy waste management, Integrated Waste Strategy development, management of active oils and solvents, storage and disposal options, and decommissioning/site endpoints. Consultation has involved representatives of site stakeholder groups, county, district and parish councils and Governments, police, trades unions, schools, regulators and industry.
GSL has supported stakeholder consultation on behalf of clients at nuclear sites across the UK, including Dounreay, Sellafield/Windscale, Sizewell B (PWR), and several Magnox sites (e.g. Hinkley Point A, Hunterston A). We have organised, facilitated and reported on an international seminar on risk communication for the UK government, and we have developed risk communication manuals for the UK environmental agencies.
Staff have been involved in a number of EU-supported international projects examining the role of stakeholders in the facility siting process, including review of different governance schemes as used in various countries, in Europe and beyond (COWAM; ARGONA; COWAM in Practice; IPPA; PLATENSO). Staff have supported government advisory committees on development of implementation strategies; supported local community governments on the use of community benefit packages related to the siting of storage and disposal facilities and new nuclear build.
GSL staff have been recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as expert in the field of both safety assessment and stakeholder engagement. They have acted as lecturers and invited participants on a number of training courses in various Member States and contributed to the development of a number of Reports and TecDocs.
GSL staff have advised the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change on issues associated with community involvement in the revised repository siting process, with a member of staff serving as a member of the Community Representation Working Group between January 2015 and April 2016.
UK Project Examples
Support to RWM Ltd Siting Activities
- Participation in a review of the use of Property Value Protection schemes as components of community benefits.
- Participation in a review of the development of Community Based Agreements
New LLW Facilities at Dounreay
- In the period 2000 – 2004, we provided optioneering, performance assessment and safety case services to help UKAEA (now named Dounreay Site Restoration Limited or DSRL) in its development of a strategy for low level radioactive waste (LLW) management at Dounreay. The work activities included a contribution to a Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) analysis, comparing various long-term LLW management/disposal options for Dounreay waste and an evaluation of site geological and hydrogeological information, and development of site models and databases for use in performance assessment modelling.
- Engagement work post 2004 included support for preparation of a planning application to Highland Council, including input to the Environmental Impact Assessment, plus dialogue with regulators, including several technical exchange meetings and presentations.
- The LLW facilities were successfully commissioned in 2014.
Windscale Piles 1 and 2
- We worked with British Nuclear Group (BNG) and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on stakeholder consultation as part of BPEO studies for the decommissioning of Windscale Pile 1 and Pile 2 decommissioning, and an Integrated Waste Strategy for the Windscale site.
- Prior to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority taking over responsibility for the decommissioning, we undertook stakeholder consultation for British Nuclear Group Sellafield Limited (BNGSL) as part of BPEO studies for Legacy Ponds and Legacy Silos (LP&LS) remediation, Magnox Wet Silo treatment plant, the Box Encapsulation Plant (BEP) facility, and Integrated Waste STrategy development.
ARGONA: Arenas for Risk Governance (2006-2009):
- GSL staff were involved in several work packages in this project, covering aspects of risk communication, stakeholder engagement and the use of community benefits in siting processes. GSL led a review of the engagement processes carried out by UKAEA at Dounreay during the option selection phase of the New LLW facilities development, assessing their acceptability in relation to a range of criteria, including transparency, legitimacy and openness. A similar review was also carried out of stakeholder engagement activities conducted in the Czech Republic as part of ARGONA. These reviews resulted in a series of recommendations for future work, which were incorporated in a subsequent project (IPPA; see below).
- GSL staff collaborated with project partners in examination of the use of community benefits in repository siting, involving an extensive literature review and a detailed case study of their use in Finland.
PAMINA: Performance Assessment Methodologies in Application to Guide the Development of the Safety Case (2006-2009)
- In addition to a range of technical activities conducted as part of this international large project, GSL staff were also involved in work to investigate ways of communicating safety-related issues to lay stakeholders. This involved design and facilitation of a number of workshops intended to explore stakeholder concerns and devise ways to address them. These included development of a series of illustrative brochures on a range of issues, including climate change, corrosion processes, human intrusion studies, radionuclide movement and presentation of safety assessment results.
CIP: COWAM in Practice (2007-2009):
- GSL staff acted as a member of the Methodological Task Force, which developed a series of reviews and reports addressing concerns and issues raised by a number of national stakeholder groups across the European Union. Issues covered included use of community benefits, identification of affected communities, implementation of siting programmes and use of volunteerism and design and management of community funds.
IPPA: Implementing Public Participation Activities (2011-2013):
- GSL staff were involved in a range of activities in this project, which focused on countries is Eastern Europe. Staff acted as work package leader for the development of a so-called ‘Knowledge Base’ of engagement and participation tools, coupled with assembly of a number of case studies based on their use in a range of contentious projects and facility siting processes. This was developed later in the project into an online ‘toolbox’ to assist interested users in selection and application of the most suitable engagement method.
- Staff were also involved in development and implementation of a series of surveys designed to explore stakeholder views on the use and composition of community benefit packages in facility siting. The results of these were developed into a number of recommendations and guidelines for use in design of future engagement packages.
Support to the International Atomic Energy Agency
Participation as lecturers and/or experts in:
- Regional Training Course On Identifying And Managing Uncertainty For Post-Closure Safety Assessment In Support Of Repository Development Programmes, Lisbon, Portugal – 18—22 June 2012.
- Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement and Communication in Remediation Projects from 12 to 14 November, 2012 in Roskilde, Denmark.
- Training Course on Lessons learnt to support the development of effective stakeholder engagement strategies for radioactive waste disposal, Warsaw, Poland 19—23 November 2012.
- National Workshop on the Public Acceptance and Stakeholder Communications. Bucharest, Romania. 14-18 October 2013.
- Mission to support the Romanian Government nuclear management organisation in development of a Communication Plan; 2-6th March 2015.
- Participation in a Mission to Brazil in November 2015, to assist in development of a communication strategy in association with stakeholder issues around a uranium mine.
- Lead authorship of a new Nuclear Energy Series Report on ‘Communication and Stakeholder Involvement in Radioactive Waste Disposal’, due for publication in 2017.
- Ongoing support for the revision of the online ‘Nuclear Communicator’s Toolbox’.