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British Academy submission to DECC call for evidence cites Sciencewise dialogue

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The British Academy submission to the DECC Call for evidence (see previous item), written by Professor Tim O'Riordan, cites Sciencewise and deliberative approaches as key aspects of positive engagement in future. The first paragraph of the submission states:

"Deliberative procedures for building trust and fairness into the process of reaching approval for deep geological disposal of radioactive waste have evolved very creatively in the UK over the past five years. Part of this important evolution is due to continued opposition to achieving agreement at the local level for such a facility. Part is a consequence of considerable innovation in deliberative approaches to community involvement in science/technology/planning decisions over a wide range of themes (Sciencewise 2015). ...

"Though not part of this consultation, it would be desirable if the lessons learnt from this specific consultation were made relevant for other areas of science/technology/planning and local acceptance on a voluntary basis both in the energy/land-use arenas as well as in other planning matters."

In terms of defining 'community', the paper suggests:

"There is also a need for some form of 'Sciencewise' (2015) forum of representative citizens in each of the UK administrations to reflect on this virtual communication with a more specific remit over the national frameworks for the characteristics of the facility and of its possible locations as seen from a devolved governmental basis. Such an arrangement should be fully representative organised through all relevant interested parties to their full satisfaction.

"As discussions take place regarding more specific qualities of possible sites, the community of interest scales down to the regional. Again this scale will provide a sequential sounding board role throughout the process. Ideally some regional version of both the virtual network and the Sciencewise forum should be created from the national scale input, suitably shaped for regional representation."

See related project page: Review of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) Siting process