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The local partnership approach to the siting of a LILW repository in Belgium Erik Laes, Gaston Meskens SCKCEN, Belgium CIP, NSG meeting, Slovenia 10 January.

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Presentation on theme: "The local partnership approach to the siting of a LILW repository in Belgium Erik Laes, Gaston Meskens SCKCEN, Belgium CIP, NSG meeting, Slovenia 10 January."— Presentation transcript:

1 The local partnership approach to the siting of a LILW repository in Belgium Erik Laes, Gaston Meskens SCKCEN, Belgium CIP, NSG meeting, Slovenia 10 January 2008

2 Overview presentation History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium; The Belgian partnership approach -brief description; -SWOT analysis; General reflections; Conclusions.

3 History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium 1960start of sea dumping; 1970sea dumping under supervision of NEA/OECD; 1983joining the international moratorium on sea dumping (Convention of London, 1983); first selection of 5 sites by NIRAS, based on criteria of the IAEA, NEA and US NRC (geological); 1990NIRAS report stating that surface disposal is best option (alternative techniques : old coalmines (unpredictable groundwater behavior) and deep disposal in clay layers (more R&D needed)); 1994government agrees with definitive ban on sea dumping (established internationally in 1993); 1994NIRAS report presenting 98 selected sites (in 47 communities), unanimously rejected by communities;

4 History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium 1995government orders new study on alternatives ; three solutions were considered: temporary surface storage, definite surface storage, deep disposal; 1996government orders new study considering 25 old military sites. NIRAS selects 16 sites and drops temporary alternatives based on ethical considerations; 1998community of Beauraing is candidate (has old military site); proposal turned down by 95% of own population; 1999establishment of MONA and STOLA partnerships; 1999green party enters government; 2003law on nuclear phase-out; 2004establishment of Paloff partnership (Fleurus- Farciennes municipalities);

5 History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium STOLA Sept 2004Final report approved by the general assembly of the partnership; Nov 2004Final report presented to Dessel municipality council; Jan 2005Final report approved by municipality council; April 2005dissolution of STOLA; creation of STORA, with the extension of the mandate to all kinds of waste; May 2005STOLA Dossier forwarded to the competent Minister of the Belgian Government;

6 History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium MONA Jan 2005Final report approved by the general assembly of the partnership and presented to Mol municipality council; April 2005Final report approved by municipality council; July 2005MONA Dossier forwarded to the competent Minister of the Belgian Government; PaLoFF Dec 2005Final report approved by the general assembly of the partnership; Feb 2006Final report rejected by the executive council of the municipality of Fleurus;

7 History of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium May 2006ONDRAF/NIRAS presented a definitive report that should allow the government to make a properly informed decision concerning the follow-up program for the disposal of low and medium active short-lived waste; June 2006Based on the recommendation of ONDRAF/NIRAS, the council of ministers decided to opt for a surface disposal site for the disposal of low and medium level short-lived waste in the municipality of Dessel.

8 Future of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium Nov 2007Signing of declaration of intent of cooperation between NIRAS, STORA and MONA -two-level cooperation: operational level: preparatory discussions, studies and actions through the different working groups of the partnerships; managerial level: integrated decision making and project management through a joint steering committee NIRAS-STORA- MONA with an advisory role for the majors of the two communities.

9 Future of LILW radioactive waste management policy in Belgium Master plan: projects- the siting concept - employment, maintenance of nuclear know-how - communication centre - local development fund - related environmental & town planning - future ensuring of involvement and participation - finances of the integrated project planningdesign phase: 2007 – milestone: detailed report to federal authority construction phase: 2012 – 2016 operation phase: 2016 –

10 The Belgian partnership approach Brief description

11 The Belgian partnership approach Brief description – basics -structure: constitution of stakeholders based on social map of the community (governing actors, societal actors, economical actors); -spirit: to give potential host communities the opportunity (1) to be involved in the development of both the technical and the socio-economic part of the repository project and (2) to determine for themselves the conditions for accepting the site; -format: developed for ONDRAF/NIRAS by the University of Antwerp and the Fondation Universitaire Luxembourgeoise.

12 The Belgian partnership approach Brief description - modalities -The constitution reflects the community it represents in a balanced way; -The partnership functions in a democratic and autonomous way and had the (Belgian) structure of a non-profit organisation; -The partnership makes internal decisions in an autonomous way, including the decision to eventually end its activities in the run of the process; -The registered office of the partnership is situated in the community it represents; -The partnership received a local working budget of 250 K/y and two times a 75 K study budget. It could manage these budgets in an autonomous way.

13 submission with municipality council project approval by partnership integrated project contribution others (social-econom, ecological) contribution NIRAS (technical, concept) evaluation by municipality council submission with federal authority close dossier close dossier close dossier feasible? yes no political, societal and economical actors establishment partnership start phase study phase design phase decision phase

14 The Belgian partnership approach Brief description - structure general assembly executive committee siting & design safety environment & health local development project coordinators

15 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis disclaimerSWOT analysis: -SWOT technique: limited critical-analytic capacity; not possible to grasp full complexity and nuance -from out of the ideal inclusive governance perspective; not from out of the perspective of the national waste agency, the politicians or the stakeholders; -twofold analysis: 1of the partnership model as such; 2of the inclusive governance process in Belgium (1999 – now); (3 independent partnerships working in parallel within one process)

16 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - strengths 1partnership model -mobilising civic duty: defending well-being of entire community & opportunity for long-term financing for local development (LLW management as an integrated project); -empowerment of stakeholders (veto right); -Dessel, as small community, saw an important part of the population involved in an intense participative process.

17 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - strengths 2Belgian process (given the fact that the Belgian process first had to go through expensive lessons to come to a more inclusive character) -voluntary involvement of three communities (all three nuclear, implying a certain familiarity with the issue); -waste was not a hot political issue in the beginning; -problem ownership: waste already there (pragmatic fact that enabled nuclear communities to become involved and to be finally accepted as legitimate partners in the political negotiation process).

18 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - weaknesses 1partnership model -problem of representativity remains (how representative can an involvement process be?); referenda to validate partnership work could have affirmed conclusions but were not organised; -creation of another independent body alongside the (democratically elected) municipality council: representation of the municipality council in the partnership needed; -after the local partnership process, the report of the candidate community comes in the hands of the traditional (national) politics (no multi-level inclusive governance).

19 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - weaknesses 2Belgian process -phenomenon of competition between communities; -NIRAS long term fund up till now only foresees to cover technical costs; amount of and recourses for socio-economic costs still unknown, even so who will be responsible to collect the finances; -only small waste producers paid their share of the long term fund up till now; accountability of Electrabel becomes a possible issue due to the change of ownership (Suez); -local process was not backed by societal debate on national level.

20 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - opportunities 1partnership model -character of robustness for future follow-up (symbolic, structural, administrative).

21 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - opportunities 2Belgian process -experience and existing dynamics to support and feed into future governance of high level waste.

22 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - threats 1partnership model -creation of another independent body alongside the (democratically elected) municipality council; possible authority conflicts; could start living an own life (risk of decoupling from grassroots level); -issue of authority with regard to the future management of local development fund.

23 The Belgian partnership approach Basic SWOT analysis - threats 2Belgian process -loss of motivation from the start, especially within the community of Mol (against previous promises, NIRAS expressed preference for one of the communities (Dessel) towards the national authorities); -long continuous working period: risk of stakeholder fatigue; -strict NIRAS timing to be compatible with time- intensive participatory process; -loss of political support before or during project phase through varying future local and national legislations; -loss of evidence of connection of compensation with site; conflict on future reassessment of compensation.

24 General reflections Voluntarism, inclusiveness, accountability -Voluntary engagement: apparently only of communities that have nuclear activity already?. -Local participatory decision making is not backed by participatory decision making on national level RW governance debate kept local; RW governance debate kept separate from (national) energy policy debate. -Nuclear community and political decision makers (Belgium, international) remain to evade the real debate on the issue of retrievability.

25 Conclusions -Process generated concrete results (dialogue, reports, concept, decision); -Innovative character (as well international as in the Belgian context): an integrated solution supported by local citizens and politics; -Key weakness: no integration in national participative decision making process; -Near future steps and evolutions will be of key importance for success: cooperation STORA – MONA – NIRAS; organisation and coordination of long term fund; organisation of official EIA process; continuing local and national political support.


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