Trying to Make an Unwanted Facility Palatable

by William C. Metz, Argonne Natl Lab, Argonne, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


Finding suitable accommodations for the temporary storage and permanent disposal of this nation's low- and high-level radioactive waste is proving an ever more difficult task in this era of volatile technology and science debate over the merits of the nuclear fuel cycle. Local constituencies become deeply immersed in the complex debate whether the site is chosen through a technical site selection process or is a voluntary entry. Rural communities with candidate sites need to initially shift their focus away from this, often acrimonious, debate; instead, the first discussion priority for such rural communities should be to develop a dynamic vision of their own economic and environmental future. The second discussion priority should be to determine if the array of accompanying incentives and benefits hosting this facility would afford the community the opportunity for vision fulfillment. If so, total focus should, then, be given to understanding and resolving to the satisfaction of the constituents issues related to nuclear technology, isolation of radioactive materials, management of risk, storage and disposal facility need, perceived and actual risk, oversight and power sharing authority, engineered safety barriers, and public trust. Too often, the nuclear-related science and technology debate is first, and the pragmatic discussion concerning the vision of the future is never accomplished.

Subject Headings: Waste storage | Storage facilities | Radioactive wastes | Waste disposal | Site investigation | Risk management | Public health and safety

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