A Public Involvement Planning Model for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program

by Allen Benson, DOE/OCRWM, Washington, United States,
William Morgan, DOE/OCRWM, Washington, United States,
Patricia C. Reyes, DOE/OCRWM, Washington, United States,
Patricia Van Nelson, DOE/OCRWM, Washington, United States,

Abstract: Substantive and early involvement of affected governments, interested parties, and the public in the decisionmaking process of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) will contribute significantly to better decisions for the waste management program. However, external party involvement in every OCRWM decision is impractical given restricted resources and time on the part of both OCRWM and the public. Choices about how and when to involve these parties must be made through a logical decisionmaking process that is consistently applied and broadly understood by both OCRWM staff and the external parties. This decisionmaking process should be a team effort involving technical, institutional, and management staff. The planning model presented in this paper defines questions that should be answered by OCRWM managers in determining when and how to involve the public in program decisionmaking. Recognizing that no set of guidelines will satisfy all of the activities conducted by OCRWM, the model provides flexible guidance for OCRWM staff to tailor it to their specific program activities. The authors believe the model can be an effective tool for planning the extensive public involvement in decisionmaking to which OCRWM is committed.

Subject Headings: Decision making | Radioactive wastes | Public participation | Mathematical models | Public policy | Waste disposal | Government

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