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The Social Sciences and Humanities Aspects of Deep Disposal of Radioactive Waste

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A British Academy briefing on the disposal of radioactive waste has shed light on the reasons why the disposal of radioactive waste is proving to be so contentious, divided, and prolonged, and has made a series of recommendations on how the process might be improved.

These recommendations have influenced a White Paper by the Department for Energy and Climate Change on developing a framework for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste. 

The following recommendations were reflected in the subsequent White Paper:

1) In regards to working with communities, there should be a multi-level decision process with no single point of blockage once the process has reached a multi-level scale of agreement.

2) There should be changes to the planning procedures to enable a much more community-accepted process of project appraisal than is the case at present.

3) There should be a working group on community representation, to help identify options for effective community representation, which should involve all levels of local government in the siting process.

4) There should be a process of community investment in those that host a GDF in order to maximise the economic benefits gained from hosting a nationally significant infrastructure project. This may include local education investment, transport and infrastructure or recreational facilities

5) There should be scope for independent advice from third parties such as National Academies after the publication of the White Paper.



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Publication date: 2014

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