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The IPPA Project

Implementing Public Participation Approaches in Radioactive Waste Disposal

The IPPA Project (Implementing Public Participation Approaches in Radioactive Waste Disposal) is a project within the Seventh Euratom Research and Training Framework Programme (FP7) on Nuclear Energy of the European Commission. The project, which started in January 2011 and will last for three years, is coordinated by Karita Research.

The consortium consists of seventeen organizations from twelve countries. Together they represent academic research, other research institutions, consultant companies, nuclear waste management organizations, and NGOs. The participants have backgrounds and expertise in a broad spectrum of areas such as physics, geology, nuclear engineering, radioactive waste treatment, environmental science, environmental impact assessment, environmental policy, political science, sociology, economics and international affairs.

The core aim with the IPPA project is the establishment of safe spaces where stakeholders can join to increase their understanding of the issues involved in radioactive waste disposal and also of their respective views. With this purpose, the RISCOM Model will be implemented for the clarification of arguments with respect to their scientific support and their value-laden basis.

The RISCOM Model and other approaches to public involvement is implemented in five radioactive waste management programmes in Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Slovenia). The project will also address the issue of how to build a safe space for discussion of common, and sometimes highly controversial, issues across national borders - such as transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), regional repositories, and application of the Aarhus Convention. The project also addresses issues regarding how negotiations on compensation and added value can be implemented at the local level and will result in a series of concrete recommendations concerning the implementation of public involvement.

A major event planned is a European Workshop which will be held around the mid point of the project (mid 2012). The workshop will be organized so as to present and discuss the work done by that point with IPPA participants and other stakeholders from IPPA countries as well as other interested EU institutions and civil society organizations. Towards the end of the project in 2013, an End Users Conference will also be held, at which the IPPA research results will be the subject of RISCOM Model "stretching" in an effort to bridge the gap between research and implementation, and to clarify the practical meaning of the IPPA results for radioactive waste management programmes and also for public involvement and transparency in other technology-driven societal areas.

More information on the IPPA Project is found on the dedicated web site www.ippaproject.eu