Partnering for Long-Term Management of Radioactive Waste

Evolution and Current Practice in Thirteen Countries

image of Partnering for Long-Term Management of Radioactive Waste

National radioactive waste management programmes are in various phases of siting facilities and rely on distinct technical approaches for different categories of waste. In all cases, it is necessary for institutional actors and the potential or actual host community to build a meaningful, workable relationship. Partnership approaches are effective in achieving a balance between the requirements of fair representation and competent participation. With host community support, they also help ensure the desirable combination of a licensable site and management concept as well as a balance between compensation, local control and development opportunities. This report provides up-to-date information on experience with local partnership arrangements in 13 countries. The characteristics, advantages and aims of community partnerships are also described in addition to the concept's evolution over the past decade.

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Nuclear Energy Agency

In the 1990s, the Swiss radioactive waste management agency (Nagra) was investigating a site for short-lived radioactive waste at Wellenberg (Canton of Nidwalden). A local implementing organisation (GNW) was founded in 1994. The siting community of Wolfenschiessen signed an agreement with GNW which outlined the rights and obligations of the community with respect to the planned repository. The siting community approved the project in 1994, but progress was blocked in 1995 based on the outcome of a cantonal referendum. A further stepwise attempt to develop the site was made in 2000. This was again blocked by cantonal referendum in 2002, despite local community support. The site was then abandoned and a new siting process for all waste types has been developed in Switzerland, based on the Nuclear Energy Act of March 2003.

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