8 Public and Stakeholder Participation
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- Ris (Zotero)
- Reference Manager
The end of a nuclear facility's mission and its transition into decommissioning can create substantial hardship on nearby communities, particularly in the case of major facilities built at a distance from large metropolitan areas. A rural setting often promotes the establishment or growth of smaller communities around the nuclear facility that come to rely heavily on the facility for their economic well-being, either directly through taxes, or more indirectly, by services and support functions to the facility and its employees. Eliminating permanent staff during plant closing can result in significant negative economic effects, although a temporary local economic upturn is possible as specialized contractors, managers, and laborers move to the area for lengthy decommissioning activities. Because of these financial impacts, local community opinion could be anywhere from neutral to negative initially, even if shutdown were announced well in advance. The reaction can be more dramatic in the event of swift or unannounced plant closures.
This chapter gives a general overview of public and stakeholder participation. In the past, many agencies and organizations responsible for decommissioning made no distinction among various segments of the public. In effect, they identified stakeholders as anyone wishing to be involved. That approach fails to distinguish the general public from people clearly and unambiguously impacted by decommissioning decisions. Furthermore, such an approach makes it virtually impossible to reach the stakeholders of primary concern. The process described here is based on new developments in stakeholder participation and was used by the Peer Review Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute for Regulatory Science (ASME/RSI) and has since been applied in several peer reviews (ASME/RSI 2001 and 2002).