«IAEA-TECDOC-1553 Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositories: Socioeconomic Aspects and Public Involvement Proceedings of a workshop held in ...»
SE RAW consists of a Head Office and three Specialized Divisions. The Head office has two departments. The specialized activities carried out by RAW Management Department are planning, coordination and control of RAW management, facilities’ life cycle management, and organization of the HLW management activities. The administrative activities are carried out by the Legal, Administrative & Financial Department and include the responsibility for legal, administrative, technical and financial issues.
The Specialized Divisions of SE RAW are the Specialized Division RAW Kozloduy, Specialized Division Novi Han Repository and Specialized Division of National Repository.
Specialized Division RAW Kozloduy (SD RAW Kozloduy) is responsible for operation of facilities for processing and storage of LILW from the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
The facilities are located on the NPP site. SD National Repository is responsible for construction and operation of a facility for disposal of LILW from nuclear applications and nuclear energy production. It will be established after site approval. SD Novi Han Repository is responsible for operation of the facilities for transportation, processing, storage and disposal of LILW from nuclear applications. At present, operation of the facilities and transportation of the waste is performed by the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy at the Bulgarian Academy of Science.
SE RAW is in process of organizing the SD Novi Han Repository as a specialized division to the State Enterprise, including state property allocations and licensing for operation of the facilities for RAW management at the Novi Han Repository. SE RAW is also in a process of site selection of the national repository for LILW.
The State Enterprise understands that these activities cannot be carried out without public acceptance and transparency in the decision making process. This creates the need for a proper and working public relations programme which is to be proceeded stepwise and at each level to leave as many options open as possible.
2. PUBLIC RELATION PROGRAMME
The State Enterprise works towards providing information on safety of installations, technological processes and optimization of technologies in order to minimize the risk from the nuclear applications in Bulgaria. This information is distributed to the public after a careful process of identifying the potential target groups and research on their particular needs for information. The experts at SE RAW understand the importance of presenting clear but detailed information in a proper manner to prevent further misunderstandings and misuse of the information.
The public relations programme of the State Enterprise has produced materials with the main purpose of clarifying questions on legal, technological, and safety issues. The programme has also provided information on the following topics: modern technologies used in countries with experience in RAW management; various ways for increasing the safety of the existing repository in Bulgaria and ways for its modernization in order to meet the international requirements; different ways for public involvement; and the importance of public involvement in general. The main idea is to increase the level of public information and simultaneously to lower the level of fear.
SE RAW’s target groups requested availability of information on the process of site selection and characteristics of potential sites, various construction issues and explanation of the process of decommissioning a nuclear facility for RAW management. This open communication with the interested public tends to increase the transparency in the decision making process and to establish confidence in the population living near by an existing repository. Presenting the information on time and including all needed details is another way to minimize the negativism at the local level. To answer the public’s requests for 24-hour information availability, the State Enterprise launched its web page at www.dprao.bg and posted all needed information. This web page gives the population the ability to request detailed information and to receive an almost immediate answer. SE RAW understands that not all of the interested population has access to internet and in response has created two information centres at two different points close to Novi Han Repository. Besides the paper informational materials, the interested public can find more detailed information in a database available at the information centres.
These two activities are the first projects under the newly implemented Programme for Information and Cooperation at Local Level. This programme has provided positive results, because the local people have shown greater interest in the activities of SE RAW and the Repository at Novi Han. In response to their interest, the State Enterprise plans to create two more information centres for the local people in the beginning of 2006. The Programme for Information and Cooperation at Local Level also gives opportunities for visits of the Repository at Novi Han in order to present the processes used for RAW management. The Open Doors on February 2005 was visited by interested local people, representatives of the local authorities, NGOs and the national media. This wide media coverage allowed SE RAW to distribute more information, to explain basic priorities and goals, and to receive popularity at a national level.
SE RAW included two internships for students from the Mine and Geological University of Sofia in the Programme for Information and Cooperation at Local Level and experienced the professional results of recently graduated intelligent and devoted people.
Another Open Door Day was held in October 2005 for the school children of the village of Gabra (close to Novi Han Repository). This event brought together various experts and school children, both willing to learn and experience new things. The school children left the Repository admitting that they had learned and seen many new and interesting things.
The activities above are only few of the finished projects under the Programme for Information and Cooperation at Local Level. This Programme has proven to be a positive working model because the number of requests for information from the local public is increasing. SE RAW intends to continue the Programme and to include new projects for further public involvement.
3. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENTSE RAW is breaking ground for the establishment and development of stakeholder groups.
This important practice is not yet familiar in Bulgaria, but the Bulgarian experts understand the importance of involving stakeholders in the decision making process.
The stakeholders should be involved personally and have the chance to influence and take the responsibility in the decision making process. The stakeholder groups will include the implementer, politicians, environmentalist, independent experts, regulator and the public as a whole.
SE RAW has to listen to the stakeholders and particularly to the public, because their concerns are important. By addressing stakeholder concerns, the issues of long term safety, operational safety, transport, environmental impacts, control and monitoring, irretrievability and reversibility, economics and in some countries aesthetics.
4. CONCLUSIONS The State Enterprise aims for better and open communication with the local public, stakeholders and media in order to provide transparent decision making process including the public and their needs.
Canadian experience in seeking community support for a deep geologic repository K. Orr Ontario Power Generation, Tiverton, Ontario, Canada Abstract This paper relates Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) recent experience in seeking community support to develop of a deep geologic repository (DGR) for low and intermediate level waste at the Western Waste Management Facility (WWMF) located within the Municipality of Kincardine, Ontario. The paper reviews the public communication programme followed by OPG - in particular, the various communication tactics employed by OPG - in leading up to the signing of the Hosting Agreement and the positive Community Poll on the DGR proposal. Based on the conclusion of an Independent Assessment Study that none of the options considered for long term management of low and intermediate level waste would have an adverse effect, Kincardine endorsed the DGR as the preferred course of study, and proceeded with a poll to determine the level of community support. With the poll results indicating community support, OPG is able to move the project to the next step. Environmental assessment work on the DGR project is now starting.
1. BACKGROUND ON THE WESTERN WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY AND
HOST COMMUNITY OF KINCARDINEOntario Power Generation’s WWMF is located on the Bruce nuclear site, and operates as an interim storage facility for radioactive waste. Low and intermediate level waste is transported by road from the Bruce, Pickering and the Darlington nuclear generating stations to the WWMF. Low level waste is processed for volume reduction through incineration or compaction, and is stored in low level storage buildings. Intermediate level waste is not processed, but is transported directly for storage to in-ground containers and trenches. The WWMF also includes the interim storage of used fuel from Bruce Power. The used fuel is stored in dry storage containers housed in dry storage building(s).
The Municipality of Kincardine has been host to nuclear facilities for decades, starting in the 1960s with Douglas Point. The 932-hectare Bruce site is located on the shore of Lake Huron and, in addition to hosting the WWMF, also includes the Bruce nuclear generating stations “A” and “B”, owned by Ontario Power Generation and since 2001, leased to Bruce Power in a long term operational arrangement. The Bruce site employs over 3500 people.
Kincardine has reaped benefits from the nuclear industry, including stable employment, and the ensuing highly skilled and professional jobs. Alternatively, the industry has been the benefactor of positive relationships and support from the local citizenry and governments. The community is knowledgeable and well-informed when it comes to the nuclear industry. They also believe that they have an obligation to future generations to establish a long term solution for the management of low and intermediate level waste. This mindset contributed to the Kincardine Council’s decision to consider entering into discussions on a long term storage facility for radioactive waste.
2. PRELIMINARY DISCUSSIONS ON LONG TERM MANAGEMENT OF LOW AND
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL WASTEIn 2002, the Municipality of Kincardine approached OPG about the possibility of entering into preliminary discussions on the long term management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste management at the WWMF. Factors contributing to these discussions at the
⎯ Long term management of radioactive waste was topical, due to the 2002 passing of the Nuclear Fuels Waste Act;
⎯ The Bruce Power lease agreement in 2001 increased the profile of nuclear waste management activities at the Bruce site;
⎯ Kincardine was interested in economic development/diversification opportunities;
⎯ Community impact payments had recently terminated, prompting Kincardine to investigate other community payment opportunities;
⎯ Kincardine is knowledgeable and comfortable with nuclear power.
These discussions led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OPG and the Municipality of Kincardine in April 2002. The purpose of the MOU was for OPG, in consultation with the Municipality of Kincardine, to develop a plan for the long term management of low and intermediate level waste at the WWMF. The work plan under the
⎯ Review of the safety and technical feasibility of various long term management options for low and intermediate level waste at the WWMF, ⎯ Socioeconomic impact assessment in Kincardine of the existing operation of the WWMF and of the potential long term options, and ⎯ Review of European and American models for long term management of low and intermediate level wastes, including site visits to look at issues such as technical infrastructure and community compensation.
A Nuclear Waste Steering Committee, comprising Kincardine Council members and representatives of OPG, directed and monitored the progress of the work plan. This study, referred to as the Independent Assessment Study (IAS), had been contracted to an expert consultant, Golder Associates. The results were published in the Independent Assessment Study Report in February 2004. The study concluded that each of the considered options (i.e.
enhanced processing and long term storage, covered above-ground concrete vault disposal facility, and deep geologic repository) are technically feasible, safe, and could be constructed and operated with no significant adverse effect on the environment for low level waste and some of the options could handle a portion of the intermediate level waste. Other conclusions were that there would be no significant adverse social effects, and there would be spin-off economic benefits to the community.
3. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT STUDY (IAS) COMMUNICATIONS
As a part of the IAS, community information and consultation programmes were also undertaken. The objectives of the programmes were to inform the local community about the study of the options and for stakeholders to provide their input and discuss any concerns that they had. Communication tactics at this stage included: open houses, project newsletter and fact sheets, WWMF “Neighbours” newsletter articles, employee briefings, stakeholder briefings, community committee presentations, First Nation briefings and briefings to community groups.
4. COUNCIL AGREES TO SUPPORT A DEEP GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY (DGR)Following a review of the Independent Assessment Study Report, municipal support was
indicated at the 21 April 2004 council meeting where the following resolution was carried:
“that Council endorse the opinion of the Nuclear Waste Steering Committee and select the “Deep Rock Vault” option as the preferred course of study in regards to the management of low and intermediate level radioactive waste”.