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Riscom II – enhancing transparency and public participation in nuclear waste management

According to the Riscom model, to achieve transparency there must be appropriate procedures in place in which decision-makers and the public can validate claims of truth, legitimacy and authenticity. The procedures should allow stretching, which means that the environment of e.g. the implementer (of a proposed project), the authorities and key stakeholders is sufficiently demanding and that critical questions are raised from different perspectives.

Accordingly, in RISCOM II the issues were analysed especially with respect to their value-laden aspects and procedures for citizen participation were  tested. Furthermore, the impact of the overall organisational structure of radioactive waste management in a country on how transparency can be achieved was investigated.

Riscom II has clarified how the RISCOM Model can best be used in radioactive waste management programmes:   

Sometimes there may be unrealistic expectations that public participation should lead to consensus. This project has addressed how transparency relate to consensus building: a transparent and democratic decision-making process must not necessarily lead to consensus about a proposed project. Transparency, however, leads to a higher level of awareness of all aspects of the issue, which should be to the benefit of high quality decisions.