«IAEA-TECDOC-1553 Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositories: Socioeconomic Aspects and Public Involvement Proceedings of a workshop held in ...»
A community health division was set up and equipped with modern medical facilities for the purpose of monitoring the personnel, members of their families, as well as the local community population, living in the radiation-control area. RADON finances all the healthcare programmes (annual, semi-annual and other examinations) and the medical personnel (more than 30 doctors and medical specialists – paediatricians, therapeutics, surgeons, specialists on laboratory diagnostics, etc.) and maintains improving the medical facilities for raising the level of health services in the community health division. The community health division provides free of charge services to the public living in the radiation-control area.
The personnel undergo annual medical examinations taking into consideration harmful and hazardous work conditions and individual radiation doses. During 45 years, the radiation doses have decreased considerably, and in the time span from 1995 to 2005 the individual radiation dose has ranged from 1 – 1.5 mSv/year. These figures were obtained by implementing the Long term Programme of Protective Measures. Tables 2 through 4 give processed results of parent’s survey.
As it can be seen from Table 2, the constitution of families is more perfect in Novy than in Remmash. This situation is similar for both the living conditions and welfare standards. At the same time, it is obvious that the discrepancies are not significant for most parameters for Novy and Bogorodskoe.
Children and teenagers are indicative of the good ecological and social environment.
Therefore, in RADON, the divisions and services responsible for monitoring, managing and solving socio-medical issues permanently perform assessments on various factors influencing the young people living in the radiation-control area. Table 5 shows the nourishment structure of children living in the abovementioned settlements.
The data in the tables above definitely show that a greater percentage of parents from Novy settlement estimate their children’s nourishment is as good when compared with ones of the other settlements. Besides, the daily ration of the growing generation is more frequently rich in meat and dairy produce, green vegetables and fruit. The socioeconomic situation according to the majority of parameters (living conditions, welfare, family constitution, nourishment structure, etc.) is on the whole better.
The maturity assessment, being carried out according to a complex scheme to take into account the biological age and harmonious development, has revealed a common tendency to decreasing the portion of young people not corresponding to their biological age (Figure 2).
The pointed tendency is observed in other regions of Russian Federation. It means that the presence of disposal site for radioactive waste treatment and storage does not noticeably affect the local population.
The young people of Novy settlement are characterized by a higher level of maturity in comparison with those of Remmash and Bogorodskoe, as it can be seen from charts in Figure
2. The RADON’s authority focuses attention on the young generation development and undertakes measures to support its leisure. The company finances the needs of infant and secondary schools and sponsors gyms and swimming pools. Parameters of the youth mental and intellectual development of all the examined settlements do not differ. The personal profiles of teenagers had no essential deviation from norms and did not have personal accents.
Thus, the examinations allowed the estimation of the physical and psychological states of development of young people living in the area nearby the disposal site for the radioactive waste treatment and long term storage. It showed the absence of hygienic living condition influence on mentioned parameters.
100% 4 7.8 16.3 80% 34.3 37.3 28.8 60% 40% 61.7 54.9 54.9 20%
Note: The collected statistics were obtained from the examination survey of young respondents aged up to 16.
Another social aspect considered is the earnings of the RADON’s personnel which are above the average of the Russian Federation. There are fringe benefits apart from standard ones applied at hazardous productions in Russia. The personnel have a prolonged vacation and a lot of social compensations. Personnel and members of their families are provided with any desirable sanatorium-and-spa treatment and medication acquisition partially paid by RADON.
The RADON disposal site activity information began in 1990 with the first appearance of information in the Russian Mass Media about its existence and operation. In that time a division on public relations was set up with its primary aim of preparing and delivering articles to popular publishing houses and reports for radio and television. Specialists of the division on public relations carry out explanatory activities by means of technical tours to the disposal site facilities, organizing public discourses to decrease radiophobia and unawareness among local community and stakeholders.
The RADON Company also sponsors the publication of a radioecological magazine “Safety Barrier”, which is officially supported by Federal Agency on Atomic Energy of Russian Federation and State Trust Gosenergoatom of Russian Science Academy. Besides leading experts of the RADON Company, there are editorial board members of well-known medicoecological magazines of Russia («Radioecology and Radiobiology», «Hygiene and Sanitary», «Labour Medicine and Industrial Ecology», «ANRI», etc.) which publish information on its scientific and practical activities.
Due to comprehensive programmes including social factors, public relations, permanent publications in Mass Media, reports on radio and television, the RADON authorities cope with proving the safety of their technologies and harmlessness to the local community and environment from radioactive waste storage.
Public involvement issues of radioactive waste management in Slovakia J. Prítrský DECOM Slovakia, Ltd, Slovakia Abstract The Slovak Republic has not established a radioactive waste management agency yet in spite of its intensive nuclear programme. Thus, informing the public about waste matters has been incorporated in the activities of NPP information centres. The methods applied include, for example, excursions, distribution of informative documents, meetings and seminars, hearings and public opinion surveys.
Generally proved approaches have been found as affective tools for communicating with the public, such as openness, transparency, respect to all interested groups and a political will to find a solution. A stable regulatory framework, including a well established and independent regulatory body, has been an important condition for getting public acceptance.
Public information is an integral part of radioactive waste management in our country. At the moment, RAW management agency is not established in the Slovak Republic, which is why PR activities are performed by Information Centres in Bohunice NPP, Mochovce NPP and SE-VYZ (organization responsible for RAW management). Concerning the general public, these activities are aimed more or less at NPP operations, nevertheless the issues of RAW management are integrated in the programme as well. Special presentations and visits oriented toward RAW management are organized mainly by SE-VYZ, which operates the disposal facility at the Mochovce site, RAW treatment facilities and SNF storage facility in the Bohunice site.
2. SCOPE OF PRESENTATION
This presentation provides information about the status of radioactive waste management in the Slovak Republic. Current PR activities and techniques used in the nuclear sector are described, and the main features of public involvement programme are included.
Recommendations and conclusions are given as we work toward successful PR programmes.
3. SITUATION IN RAW DISPOSAL IN SLOVAKIA
There is one operating disposal facility in Slovak Republic nowadays. The Mochovce near surface repository is used for final disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive wastes resulting from the operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants situated in the territory of the Slovak Republic. This facility is intended also for disposal of institutional RAW from research institutes, laboratories, hospitals and other institutions involved in activities during which radwastes are produced. Prior to disposal RAW has to be processed and treated into its final form, the waste package, which is the fibre reinforced concrete container (FCC). Volume capacity of the FCC is 3.1 cubic metres, total current capacity of the repository is 22 320 cubic metres (7200 FCC containers). Siting for this repository was performed in 1975-78, construction 1986-92, completion 1996-99, final safety report in 1999 and operation from 2000. More than 1000 FCC containers have been disposed since operations began.
4. CURRENT PR ACTIVITIES AND TECHNIQUESThe main PR activities and techniques of Information Centres in Bohunice NPP, Mochovce
NPP and SE-VYZ are as follows:
⎯ Site visits (transport up to 30 km from IC is free of charge) ⎯ Public information materials ⎯ Video/computer presentations ⎯ Models, simulations ⎯ Public meetings ⎯ Public hearings ⎯ Conferences, workshops, seminars ⎯ Key persons interviews ⎯ Public opinion surveys ⎯ Open door days ⎯ Journals, periodicals, ⎯ Internet, Intranet ⎯ Annual environmental reports ⎯ International cooperation (IAEA, OECD-NEA) The sections below discuss the key aspects of these PR activities.
4.1 Presentations Probably the most important activity of the Information Centre (IC) is organizing the presentations and visits to nuclear sites. Site visits help people understand how plans are transformed into reality. They help get people to participate who normally would not be involved. Site visits are valuable as a basis for repeated discussions and to show how details are developed. Frequently, site visits are the best way to demonstrate a physical fact to either the community or nuclear facility personnel. They are used by local people to show engineers and planners details and conditions they might have missed. During visits the participants are given the various information materials, which can be studied in more details at home.
Visitors have the possibility to see interesting video and computer presentations, models and simulations. There is also possibility to see the ILW/LLW repository, the RAW treatment facility, the SNF storage facility and the turbine hall of the NPP. We pay great attention to young people from elementary, secondary schools and universities, which create the majority of the visitors. Special attention is given, of course, to the youngest children. They participate in various games and competitions, which help to increase their knowledge about energy.
Transport of groups can be organized by the IC and is free of charge up to 30 km distance.
4.2 Public information materials
Public information materials are one of the essential forms of communication in any public involvement process. Essentially, they provide basic information about a process, project, or document in a fast, comprehensible and clear way. They are widely distributed to many people for maximum effect. Public information materials increase the chances that people
actually get the information. We use the following types of information materials:
⎯ advertisements ⎯ billboards, posters ⎯ brochures ⎯ display boards ⎯ electronic media, on-line home page ⎯ models ⎯ news articles, newsletters, newspaper inserts and articles ⎯ progress bulletins ⎯ public service announcements (paper, video, radio) ⎯ slides and overheads ⎯ videotapes
4.3 Public meetings and hearings Another important aspect of public involvement is public meetings and hearings; they have
these basic features:
⎯ anyone may attend, as either an individual or a representative of specific interests;
⎯ meetings may be held at appropriate intervals; hearings are held near the end of a process or sub-process before a decision;
⎯ hearings require an official hearing officer; meetings do not;
⎯ hearings usually have a time period during which written comments may be received;
⎯ community comments are recorded in written form.
Special kind of public meetings known as the “Citizens information commission“ is held regularly two times a year for mayors of cities and villages nearby the NPPs. The participants are informed about news in the nuclear sector. Meetings have also been organized for citizens of cities and villages on the route from the Bohunice RAW Treatment Centre to the Mochovce repository. This route is used for transportation of RAW packages from the place of its processing to the repository. These meetings were really successful, and no protests occurred due to these shipments.
Public hearings are organized for each nuclear facility, which is planned to be constructed or significantly reconstructed. These activities are performed according to the Act 127/1994 on environmental impact assessment (EIA). This legislative document requires direct public involvement within the EIA process. Recently this kind of public involvement was organized
for following nuclear installations:
⎯ Spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Mochovce ⎯ NPP A-1 decommissioning - 1st stage ⎯ Integral storage facility of long lived waste in Bohunice