The introduction of the third generation (3G) of cellular phones has caused much discussion in Sweden. The time table and the level of ambition in terms of access to the system all over the country was early set at the highest political level. The development of 3G has, however, caused opposition and controversy in an number of municipalities. There are concerns over radiation risks from the masts, which are built with much higher density than for the previous GSM system, although the authorities assure that there are no such risks. Resistance groups have emerged, and there are municipalities wanting to establish zones free from masts.
There is clearly a need for more dialogue, more transparency and increased awareness in this issue, so that various stakeholders can increase their mutual understanding of each other's arguments, and get a more comprehensive picture with perhaps a wider frame than each one of them had from the start.
For this purpose, industry, authorities, municipalities and critical groups have agreed to form a joint Transparency Forum using the VALDOC approach with the RISCOM Model. The initiative was taken by the Swedish Radiation protection Authority (SSI), which has experiences with this approach from the area of nuclear waste management.
The project has been completed and was reported at the VALDOR symposium in May, 2006.