T024
Nuclear futures - how to govern nuclear waste?
Convenors:
Karena Kalmbach (Environmental Policy Research Centre, FU Berlin)
Clemens Walther
Peter Hocke (KIT)
Klaus-Jürgen Röhlig
Discussant:
Markku Lehtonen (école des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales / ESSEC Business School)
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
117a
Sessions:
Friday 2 September, 9:00-10:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

The aim of this track is to look at the issue of nuclear waste governance from multiple disciplinary perspectives while particularly focusing on questions of time, space and changing affected and concerned collectives within these scales.

Long abstract:

The aim of this track is to look at the issue of nuclear waste governance from multiple disciplinary perspectives while particularly focusing on questions of time, space and changing affected and concerned collectives within these scales. Citizens in many countries manifested their will to have a say in decision making processes on nuclear waste governance and were able to block projects that they did not approve. Therefore, the issue of involving the public has gained central importance in nuclear waste governance in recent years. However, in the case of nuclear waste, strategies of involving the public that were successfully applied in other fields seem not to work. Citizens´ quests moved from the "right to know" to the "right to object" and the "right to shape" decisions. In many cases, ignoring these claims resulted in the further hardening of attitudes and led to deadlock situations. The processes leading to a site selection are highly complex and conflict ridden; they cannot be encompassed by a narrowly defined planning approach in which problems are defined, analyzed, and solved in consecutive steps. Especially because of changing requirements that are difficult to anticipate and because of the many interdependencies at play, efforts to solve one aspect of the problem (whether societal, technical, or political) may end up creating new problems and conflicts. In the case of nuclear waste storage and disposal, these problems and conflicts are multiplied by the various issues at stake within the wider debate on nuclear technology.