«IAEA-TECDOC-1553 Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositories: Socioeconomic Aspects and Public Involvement Proceedings of a workshop held in ...»
RAWRA aims to enhance the public's awareness of radioactive waste and its management in the Czech Republic. The free availability of information on radioactive waste management is a necessary precondition for a full discussion involving all the parties interested in finding the best way to tackle the issue of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in the Czech Republic. The internet and RAWRA's information centres (at the head office building in Dlážděná Street in Prague, at the Richard repository and at Rouchovany) are employed primarily to provide information. They are visited by individuals as well as groups of young people from both primary and secondary schools. RAWRA participated in the preparation of a six-episode TV series on radioactive waste management, a part of the Popularis weekly programme which aims to present complicated scientific themes to a general audience, broadcast by the Czech state TV channel. The series is now used by RAWRA in presentations to the public at its information centres and on other occasions. RAWRA maintains good relations with the local populations of those areas in which operating repositories are situated as well as areas potentially eligible for the construction of a deep geological repository.
Another important communication channel is through the RAWRA BOARD. The RAWRA Board is an Administration Body of RAWRA with activities set forth under the Atomic Act.
The Board mainly supervises the cost-effectiveness of RAWRA activities. The Board members include representatives of state administration, radioactive waste generators and the public; they are appointed by the Minister of Industry and Trade in compliance with the Principles for the selection and appointment of the Board, usually for 5 years. The Board has 11 members: four representing waste generators, one representative of Ministry of Industry and Trade, one representative of Ministry of the Environment, one representative of the Ministry of Finance, one senator and three representatives of municipalities with operating
⎯ Mayor of the city of Jachymov (where repository Bratrství is located) ⎯ The head of Enviromental department of the City Council of Litoměřice (where repository Richard is located) ⎯ Mayor of the city of Rouchovany (where repository Dukovany is located).
At the end of 2003, RAWRA's Managing Director invited all the communities concerned to a meeting to discuss programmes concerning the long term development of the region in which a future deep geological repository might be sited. Nevertheless, RAWRA has continued to search for appropriate forms of communication with communities in the areas involved.
Following the refurbishment of the public library at Rouchovany and the establishment of a RAWRA information centre there, which was well received by the local community, similar information centres were set up at further villages – Lubenec, Rohozná, Milíčov. Opening ceremonies were held in March 2004 (in Lubenec), April 2004 (at Rohozná) and April 2005 (in Milíčov) and attended by chairmen of local councils, representatives of regional authorities and local journalists. Display posters, RAWRA's website and information from other domestic and foreign organizations responsible for radioactive waste management as well as printed materials and various relevant film clips are available to visitors. In August 2004, RAWRA information posters were put on display and printed materials were made available at specially altered premises on the ground floor of the community council building at Dolní Cerekev. Preparations for an information centre at Milíčov near Rohozná commenced towards the end of the year.
In May 2004, RAWRA organized a three-day excursion for community representatives to selected facilities in Switzerland (the Zwilag interim storage facility and the Grimsel underground laboratory). This trip was aimed at providing participants with the opportunity to become familiar with the various modern technologies employed in radioactive waste management (storage and fluidised bed combustion) and research work currently underway at the underground laboratory. The Grimsel laboratory is located in granite rock which has been the focus of the Czech deep geological repository development programme. Experiments carried out at the lab under real deep geological repository conditions concentrate primarily on the assessment of deep geological repository safety. A total of 36 representatives from all six locations took part in the excursion.
A major concern for local communities has been particularly those projects involving the siting process. In order to assure these communities of the complete transparency of these various projects, RAWRA invited community representatives to participate in an inspection day for the Geobariera siting project in April 2005. Unlike the previous inspection day, this time only a small number of community representatives took part, probably because information presented on the previous inspection day was considered too technical and not easily comprehensible. Subsequently, RAWRA prepared progress reports as of April 2004 for all six candidate sites; the reports were distributed to interested communities and respective information centres.
At a meeting held at the Rohozná location it was agreed that further information and discussions on the possible variants of the repository were needed. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the wording of which had been discussed and approved beforehand by the Dolní Cerekev, Cejle, Milíčov and Batelov local councils, was signed by council chairmen and RAWRA's Managing Director in Jihlava on 29 September 2004 at a meeting attended by the regional press. The Cejle local council, however, later retracted its approval in a letter of 15 November 2004, following the results of a vote by the inhabitants of the village at a public meeting. By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, RAWRA pledges to seek a solution to the issue of the siting, construction and operation of a deep geological repository which would respect as much as possible the interests of the communities concerned, keep local inhabitants informed of developments through local information centres, organize excursions for those interested to relevant facilities and explore, in cooperation with the communities themselves, the possibilities and conditions for implementing an accompanying programme to the benefit of the microregion concerned. RAWRA also pledges to provide data to independent experts when required and to provide funding for their work. The communities, by signing the MOU, have expressed their willingness to at least discuss repository options thus allowing RAWRA to design a model procedure for approaching this issue and helping to create the right conditions for providing the local population with relevant information. These communities, however, reserve the right to reject in the future any further work concerning the siting or construction of a deep geological repository. At a meeting with community representatives held in early December 2004 to discuss the MOU, continuing cooperation for the foreseeable future was agreed. In December 2005, when the results of project Geobariéra will be publish, a representative of municipalities involved with the deep geological repository siting, will participate as an expert for public acceptance.
An excursion to interim storage facilities and the operated repositories, cooperation with local schools and public libraries as well as RAWRA's active participation in major local community events were seen as the main priorities. At the end of the year RAWRA had contacted most of the 48 communities in the six candidate locations. RAWRA offered to organize meetings of local inhabitants and specialists to discuss issues relating to the disposal of radioactive waste in deep geological repositories and to set up excursions to the Dukovany repository. An excursion was organized to the Dukovany repository and interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel followed by an informal question and answer meeting at Hrotovice.
RAWRA‘s communications activities are targeted particularly at the siting of a future deep geological repository, however, public acceptance of operating repositories is one of the most important parts of RAWRA‘s communication strategy which helps in effectively presenting to the public how radioactive waste is managed in The Czech Republic.
Assessment and management of socioeconomic issues and public involvement practices for the development of Inshas near surface LILW disposal facility A.A. Zaki Atomic Energy Authority, Hot Laboratory and Waste Management Centre, Egypt Abstract There are many issues and practices that could impact the development of Inshas near surface low and intermediate level radioactive waste disposal facility (Inshas-LILW-Facility), beside the radiological factors. These issues may be social, economic, public involvement practices, built environment, land use and natural environment. In addition to these issues, there are other impacts resulting from the widespread use of independent and opposition newspapers and open sky media (satellites) in Egypt.
Social issues include the indicators such as demographics, social structure, character and community health. Economic issues comprise employment and labour supply and local economy. Trust building of public and their involvement in different stages of development of a near surface disposal facility could facilitate the development process. The development of Inshas-LILW-Facility involves a number of sequential steps, occurring over a time frame of several decades. These steps include planning and siting, construction, operation, closure and post-closure institutional control. For many of these steps, explicit approvals are required from national authorities, including regulators, before proceeding to the next step. Selection of a preferred site for development is normally subject to consent by the authorities responsible for land use planning. For the Inshas-LILW-Facility, the licensing process is divided into three stages; the first is site selection and construction, the second is operation, and the third is closure and post closure. The regulatory body approved both the site selected in the Inshas area and the construction of the facility. Now, the Inshas-LILW-Facility is in the operational licensing process. To establish public trust during the development stages of the InshasLILW-Facility, visitor programmes are prepared periodically for school students, university students, the local community, press people and other visitors to the Inshas-LILW-Facility. In this paper, assessment and management of all these issues and practices are discussed except the radiological factors.
It is now broadly recognized that radioactive waste disposal involves both technical and societal dimensions which cannot be dissociated. New processes to forecast and monitor quality of life and social impacts are being brought to the forefront. A broad range of socioeconomic and environmental impacts needs to be assessed during the life cycle of a repository [1, 2]. Approaches have been developed to assess socioeconomic and other nonradiological impacts during the pre-operational, operational and post-closure phases  and the radiological impacts during the operational and post-closure phases . Of particular importance is the need to ensure that the assessment of impacts is undertaken in a transparent, structured and well documented manner, thereby increasing confidence in the assessment.
The construction, operation and closure of a near surface repository must be subject to regulatory control, i.e. a site license is issued before the start of construction, enabling the operator to perform the necessary construction activities . Additional authorizations are generally required to proceed to the subsequent phases of the repository life cycle, particularly disposal operations and closure [4, 5]. In some countries as well as in Egypt, the regulatory authority responsible for licensing nuclear operations is the same as that responsible for authorizing waste disposal, so that regulatory oversight is provided by a single national agency. The Hot Laboratory and Waste Management Centre (HLWMC) is the operator of the Inshas-LILW-Facility and the National Centre for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NCNSRC) is the regulatory body. Both the HLWMC and the NCNSRC are administered by one Authority. The regulators play a challenging task as the people’s interface with the implementer. The regulators should be exposed to interfacing with the other stakeholders. It is understood that broad public acceptance will enhance the likelihood of the disposal facility approval.
The Egyptian Atomic energy Authority (EAEA) was established in 1955. EAEA consists of two main complexes in different locations. The first is the Nasr City complex located eastern of Cairo. It comprises the main headquarters, the National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology (NCRRT), and the NCNSRC. The second location is the Inshas complex, which occupies about 10 x 106 m2 on the east bank of Ismalia Canal in the Inshas area. It is approximately 60 kilometres northeast of Cairo and includes the Nuclear Research Centre (NRC) and the HLWMC. At present more than 1500 scientists and technical staff are employed at the Inshas complex, about 20% of them live in the local community. A transportation system is used to carry the staff and worker from their homes to the two complexes.
HLWMC was established at 1980 as a central facility to collect the radioactive waste and to operate a national radioactive waste disposal facility. HLWMC is an integrated waste management facility for treatment, conditioning, interim storage and disposal of low and intermediate level waste. Two hundred persons work at HLWMC and in turn for InshasLILW-Facility. The population of the local community in a seven km diameter circle around the Inshas-LILW-Facility is about 120 000 persons. The majority of these people are either workers or farmers, and some of them work at the Inshas complex. Inshas-LILW-Facility covers an area of 4000 m2, quite enough for future expansions. Inshas-LILW-Facility is currently a four module engineered structure, with dimensions of 10m length x 5m width x
3.30m depth. This module design can be repeated to expand the facility.