This report concerning Swedish nuclear waste management has been produced as part of a cross national research project: CARL – A Social Science Research Project into the Effects of Stakeholder Involvement on Decision-Making in Radioactive Waste Management. Besides Sweden, the participating countries are Belgium, Canada, Finland, Slovenia and United Kingdom. A social science research team, working for three years, is in the first phase conducting research in their own countries in order to produce 6 country reports. During the next years the focus will shift to comparisons of stakeholder involvement practices in the participating countries.
This report addresses current practices of Swedish nuclear waste management and their historical development. The main focus is on past, current and emerging patterns of stakeholder involvement in the siting of a deep repository for the final disposal of Sweden’s spent nuclear fuel. The general questions attended to in the report are: Who are the main stakeholders, and how have they emerged and gained recognition as such? What are the issues currently subject to stakeholder involvement and how have these been decided upon? How is stakeholder involvement organized locally and nationally and how has this changed over time? How has stakeholder involvement gained acceptance as an activity of value in the siting of major waste facilities?
This report have attempted to show the development of stakeholder involvement in the siting of a final repository for Sweden’s spent nuclear fuel as resembling something other than a straightforward linear process of improvement and refinement. Stakeholder involvement has developed, over the past 15 years or so, in something more like a patchwork of different shapes and forms. Some of the forces that may well contribute to the further elaboration of the patchwork of stakeholder involvement have been pointed out, contingently modifiying once more its overall colour and orientation. Questions have been raised about whether the European Union will become an important stakeholder in Swedish waste management, if climate change means new opportunities for nuclear power, if the national government and the Environmental Court will grow stronger as stakeholders, if environmental organisations will succeed in re-opening the big issues of method and site for a final repository, and if the strong social-technical divide will dissolve.
Effects on SKI:s work
The report has given SKI good knowledge about important instrument how to design decision-making processes that includes stakeholders. This is important because SKI is responsible for the review of environmental impact assessments included in applications according to the act of nuclear safety. In SKI’s review we need to consider weather or not the applicant has included stakeholders enough. The report also gives the reader an overlook over different stakeholders influence over the decision-making process in relation to the management system for nuclear waste and spent fuel.
Continued work within the field
The CARL-project is a multinational and three year long project and it will be completed in late 2007. This report is the first report and it will be followed by at least one additional report. The next report will built on comparison between experiences in the different participating countries and the comparisons will be based on the result presented in this first report.
SKI’s responsible for the project has been Josefin Päiviö Jonsson.
SKI-reference: SKI 2006/230