Public Involvement: Keystone to Public Confidence in the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program

by Diane Meier, ICF Kaiser Engineers, United States,
Phillip A. Niedzielski-Eichner, ICF Kaiser Engineers, United States,
Wilma C. Probst, ICF Kaiser Engineers, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


The barriers to public confidence in the safety of high level radioactive waste facilities can only be overcome by encouraging meaningful participation by the public in the decisionmaking process. If public involvement is viewed as a continuum, the greatest participation in decisionmaking is provided by a referendum, and the least participation is allowed when the agency chooses the 'decide-announce-defend' approach. Intermediate points on the continuum include: a partnership with affected parties; pre-decisional dialogue; and post-decisional dialogue. Each approach has implications for public confidence that should carefully be considered in the design of a public involvement program.

Subject Headings: Public participation | Radioactive wastes | Waste management | Decision making | Continuum mechanics | Public opinions | Highway barriers | Public buildings

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