Nirex is the organisation responsible for long-term radioactive waste management in the UK. Our Mission is to provide the UK with safe, environmentally sound and publicly acceptable options for the long-term management of radioactive materials. One of the lessons that Nirex has learned from previous experience in the UK and internationally is the importance of developing due process for finding a long-term solution for radioactive waste management. We have been investigating best practice in this area and incorporating the findings into the work that we undertake. Projects which will have an impact on the environment are subject to EC Directives on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA Directive has already been implemented into law within Member States while the SEA Directive has to be implemented by 2004. Nirex believes that radioactive waste management programmes will have to adhere to the principles outlined in the Directives. Nirex has been investigating how the frameworks set out in the Directives could be used to: • Develop a stepwise approach to decision making in the UK; • Engage stakeholders during the stepwise decision making; • Enable stakeholders’ issues and concerns to be addressed. This paper will outline how Nirex has been developing its work in these areas including reference to the Nirex Involvement Programme, which uses different consultation and dialogue techniques to enable people to engage with Nirex’s work programme.

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