Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

PLATENSO Report Summary

Project ID: 605140
Funded under: FP7-EURATOM-FISSION
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - PLATENSO (Building a platform for enhanced societal research related to nuclear energy in Central and Eastern Europe)

Executive Summary:
The overall aim of PLATENSO was to enhance the capabilities of research institutions in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to take part in EU research with respect to governance, social and societal aspects of nuclear energy. For this, national networks between research institutions collaborating in PLATENSO and beyond the project were set up to bring together the capabilities, knowledge and expertise from diverse groups interested in research collaboration in Euratom FP projects. The contribution of PLATENSO to establishing research networks in New Member States was also realised through networking events at the European level and the development of the Virtual Information Centre for sharing information and contacts.

All Central and Eastern European countries are currently facing challenges with regard to certain decisions on nuclear matters. Whichever direction the policy decisions take, either continuation of existing nuclear sector, new build or shutting down operating nuclear reactors, a reflection on social, societal and governance aspects should be undertaken. PLATENSO has aimed to contribute to such reflection by developing a broad framing for research on social, societal and governance matters with reference to the nuclear energy lifecycle, based on the related social and political challenges identified for the possible scenarios for nuclear energy development. The development of these different scenarios should increase the awareness among governments about the requirements for research with a broad spectrum of social, societal and governance areas.

Research strategies for social, societal and governance issues linked to nuclear energy were developed for PLATENSO CEE countries. In three of these countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland), these research strategies were tested in order to adapt them to stakeholder needs and assess the extent to which its implementation could be successful. The extent to which these research strategies are integrated into the political agendas of energy and research in order to be successfully implemented will very much depend on the specific conditions in every country. An analysis of the structure of the actors involved in the energy sector in each country may contribute to plan the implementation process accordingly.

Finally, PLATENSO has also developed a proposal towards establishing a platform to promote social sciences and humanities in the field of nuclear technology. The different activities undertaken as part of the project and two networking workshops held during the PLATENSO project, have contributed to define the way forward for a Nuclear Energy Social Platform (NESP). The initial topical work areas of NESP are open for discussion. However, four topical work areas are suggested. Conducting opinion surveys on nuclear energy, such as those conducted by Eurobarometer in the past, could be one of the different action areas to assist and inform decision making about nuclear energy and energy in general. Decommissioning, nuclear waste management and development of Generation IV ractors will also encounter not only technical but societal and social challenges that will need to be addressed by the social sciences and humanities as well as natural and technical sciences.

Project Context and Objectives:
Project objectives
In Europe, there is potential for enhancing research in the field of governance related to nuclear technology particularly in Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). Whilst the legal framework and technological bases have been gradually improved to match EU standards, governance, social and societal aspects of nuclear energy have not developed to the same degree in New Member States. In countries like Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania, European governance funded research projects have catalysed new approaches of stakeholder involvement in the field of radioactive waste management. However, awareness of the need for new approaches to participation and openness in other parts of the nuclear fuel cycle is very limited. Thus, there is room for more comprehensive approaches and strategies intended to enhance the capacity in the EU to meet social and societal challenges related to nuclear energy.
The overall aim of PLATENSO was to enhance the capabilities of research institutions in Central and Eastern European countries to take part in EU research with respect to governance, social and societal aspects of nuclear energy. PLATENSO had higher ambitions than merely bringing together those countries lagging behind in their involvement in Euratom FP research and bringing them up to the same level of other countries. The ultimate aim was to develop a proposal towards establishing a legal base for a Social Platform linked to nuclear technology and to develop recommendations for research strategies in New Member States. On the basis of exploratory studies focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and contact with relevant stakeholders in all EU, the project proposed the main aspects regarding the implementation of such a platform.
Secondary objectives to achieve the primary purposes were to:
- Set up national networks between research institutions collaborating in PLATENSO and involving different types of stakeholders (research organisations, national authorities, local authorities, NGOs, individuals, etc) thay may also have a role in research and development;
- Develop a broad framing for research on social, societal and governance matters with reference to the nuclear energy lifecycle, taking possible scenarios for nuclear energy development and the related social challenges into account;
- Propose major areas of social, societal and governance issues for the envisaged Social Platform and for future research in PLATENSO countries.
Project structure
The work in the PLATENSO project was structured in seven work packages, apart from the WP devoted to management (WP8), and were organised as follows:
WP1 explored how PLATENSO countries can learn from experiences in national programmes and EU projects with regard to social, societal and governance issues of research.
WP2 mapped existing research institutions in CEECs, their capabilities and research activities in order to establish national networks between them that can be sustainable for the future.
WP3 (The science, politics and ethics of nuclear technology assessment) aimed to reflect on an advanced approach to nuclear technology assessment from the perspective of fair and effective energy governance. Thus, it aimed to increase awareness of the social, political and ethical aspects of energy governance and to generate insights on how these aspects could/should inspire future EU and national research and education programmes and political decision making on energy governance in general and related to nuclear technology in particular.
WP4 defined three different possible nuclear energy scenarios and developed research strategies in governance, social and societal issues for each of the PLATENSO countries.
WP5 tested the research strategies developed in WP4 in three countries to see whether they had to be adjusted and to assess the extent to which their implementation could be successful.
WP6 provided opportunities for the national networks developed in WP2 to meet at European level as part of two networking events. Additionally, the PLATENSO Virtual Information Centre was set up as a virtual platform to share information and contacts towards the establishment of the future platform. A proposal towards establishing a Nuclear Energy Social Platform was developed.
WP7 was dedicated to dissemination and outreach activities to ensure the overall visibility of the project. An electronic newsletter on the project was published every 6 months.

Project Results:
The work undertaken in the PLATENSO project is presented below in six sections, corresponding to the different work packages focused on establishing the platform (from WP1 to WP6). This description summarises the main deliverables resulting from PLATENSO.
1.1 WP 1: Lessons learned

WP1 explored how PLATENSO countries can learn from experiences in national programmes and EU research projects with regard to social, societal and governance issues of importance for nuclear energy-related developments. This served as an input to WP4 to form the research agenda and WP6 focused on the development of the working areas of the social platform.
A brief overview was done of work carried out on issues related to the governance of radioactive waste management and radiation protection together with the related aspects of socio-economic impacts that has already been done as part of previous projects or through activities undertaken by various international organisations. Reviews of the situation regarding the governance of nuclear fission, radiation protection and radioactive waste were done in various PLATENSO countries.
A review was undertaken as part of a number of project supported by several European Commission Framework Programmes, including ARGONA, INSOTEC and IPPA, and also taking into account the work carried out by the NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence and IAEA. Furthermore, questionnaires were used to gather information from PLATENSO countries on stakeholder involvement, local community involvement and NGO involvement and to identify potential research needs. These questionnaires were filled in during discussions with individual project partners and at project meetings.
A number of studies on the potential socio-economic impacts (both beneficial and deleterious) of repository development on local and regional communities were identified, with the intention of examining how these were commissioned and how the terms of reference were produced. A questionnaire was developed in order to investigate the background to the studies and to explore them in more detail in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, as in these countries in-depth socio-economic studies have actually been carried out. The questionnaire was designed to explore the governance of these studies and to understand how they were funded, as well as whether the outcomes were helpful to the local communities.
Whilst many studies have been undertaken in the area of radioactive waste management focusing on local and regional levels, much less has been investigated regarding the social and societal issues at the national and EU levels related to nuclear energy. This is an area to be explored in the development of research strategies (WP4).
Additionally, there are many experiences of public participation in the field of siting controversial nuclear waste management facilities. However, research needs to be broadened - to include all decision making phases and other types of nuclear installations - and more tailored to addressing specific conditions for different phases, experiences of the challenge of involving regulators and NGOs, and to link informal processes to legal systems. Many challenges for stakeholder participation have been identified, such as lack of trust in government bodies, lack of government interest, dialogue seen as one-way information provision, regulators acting as proponents of nuclear power or the lack of interest to participate. These challenges need to be addressed both when developing research strategies (WP4) and as part of the social platform (WP6).
Finally, different models for research infrastructure were identified which can be referred to when developing country-specific research strategies:
• Special research departments in nuclear laboratories;
• Special programmes funded by industry with academic steering committees;
• Special programmes funded by industry with local agenda setting;
• Academic dedicated programmes funded by government agencies;
• Research programmes implemented by government, funded by implementer with government and regions as end users;
• Investigations for local and regional authorities funded by government.
1.2 WP2: Research infrastructures

PLATENSO aimed to improve the prerequisites for future participation in Euratom projects in the countries involved, not only for the project participants, but also for research establishments overall. In this regard, WP2 has two objectives:
- to map the research institutions in order to obtain a realistic point of departure,
- to build a network between these institutions that can be sustainable for the future.
The map and network are developed in cooperation with the PLATENSO partners in Central and Eastern Europe - the National Contacts (NCs). The research institutions in the international network will be well positioned for an active role in the European platform established in WP6 as it is stated in Social Platform Vision. In all countries, basic network of organizations were successfully established and helped to build new ties between organizations and individuals in the field of social research on nuclear energy (e.g. in the Czech Republic, an agenda termed “social aspects of nuclear energy” has become one of the key topics of the new research strategy (“AV21”) of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Work in WP 2 produced a database of information regarding the situation in the social research on the nuclear energy in the CEE countries. Information gathered about national research organisations and projects were transferred to the PLATENSO Virtual Information Centre that was launched (as part of the WP6) in order to facilitate and improve international communication.

Apart from the international activities and networking events organized as part of PLATENSO WP6, each national network organized a number of meetings in their own country, as shown below, with the purpose to build and consolidate the network.
National project meetings / workshops organized by NCs (period: 12/2014 – 04/2016)
Bulgaria
4
Czech Republic
2
Hungary
2
Lithuania
2
Poland
4
Romania
3
Slovakia
3
Slovenia
4

The key issue for the future of the network seems to be the keeping of national networks alive during periods without joint research programme.

1.3 WP 3: The Science, Politics and Ethics of Nuclear Technology Assessment
WP3 was set up with the aim to reflect on an advanced approach to nuclear technology assessment from the perspective of “fair and effective energy governance”. Consequently, it aimed to increase awareness of the social, political and ethical aspects of energy governance that aims to include risk-inherent technologies such as nuclear and to generate insights on how these social, political and ethical aspects could/should inspire future EU and national research and education programmes and political decision making on energy governance in general and related to nuclear technology in particular.
The practical work was organised in the form of four workshops that took place in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia respectively. The workshops were organised by the local hosts in coordination with the WP3 coordinator. In all four cases, the workshops were set up as a combination of invited lectures and group discussions. The target audience was professionals who are active in the broad field of (nuclear) energy governance coming from research, engineering, management, policy and civil society and who have an interest in discussing critical perspectives on energy governance and nuclear technology assessment in general and with regard to their national context in particular. In all four cases, the organisers tried to make sure that this ‘spectrum’ of actors was represented.
The objective was that the workshop reflections would combine ‘ideological thinking’ with respect to the social, political and ethical aspects of energy governance (and the implications for research and political decision making) with critical analysis of the social, political or economic conditions (of the host countries and at EU level) in the sense of how these conditions would ‘hinder’ or ‘facilitate’ that kind of research and public participation. In order to stimulate the ‘ideological thinking’ in the workshop discussions, each of the workshops contained a presentation of the WP3 coordinator in which a proposal for an ethical framework for the method of energy governance was presented.

Some general reflections relevant to the four workshops include:
- All four WP3 workshops brought together national actors concerned with nuclear energy governance (politicians, regulators, researchers and representatives from civil society and the nuclear industry) who rarely met before in that combination;
- In every case, it was recognised that this kind of ‘inclusive’ dialogues is meaningful and essential for a future national energy policy that would aspire to generate transparency and societal trust;
- In general, it was recognised that the challenge to make this kind of dialogues possible in the form of formal public participation in democratic decision making may be greater for new EU member states, given their specific political history. However, it was also noted that the system of representative democracy itself, organised through party politics and elections, may have become too simple to tackle the complexity of energy governance as such;
- As these dialogues were in themselves ‘happenings at the research-policy interface’, it is clear that the systematic organisation of this kind of dialogues should be a part of the national research strategies themselves;
- In the interest of preparing future actors for these ‘confrontational dialogues’, capacity building through transdisciplinary and pluralist education and research would need to be part of any research strategy on a complex issue such as energy governance;
- Although obviously all workshops discussed nationally-specific situations and affairs, the nature of the discussions also confirmed the original WP3 perspective that there are no national-specific criteria for fairness or effectiveness of energy governance. The need to make scientific research more reflexive and democratic decision making more inclusive is a general need in our modern society, regardless of country-specific situations.
In the coming years, various research networks and platforms might very probably be set up on European level that, all in their specific way, aim to care for the integration of social sciences and humanities into (nuclear) energy research that traditionally relies on the natural, technical and engineering sciences alone. Taking this into account, these initiatives may logically also serve as a mediator of process for the organisation of the type of workshops undertaken by PLATENSO in the various member states and even on European level.

1.4 WP4: Forming a research strategy
The objective of WP4 was to develop recommendations for a research strategy for social, societal and governance issues concerning nuclear energy in PLATENSO countries. Building on lessons learned in WP1, the mapping of research institutions performed in WP2, results from the seminars developed in WP3, different nuclear energy scenarios and their associated research needs were explored in order to develop research strategies for eight Central and Eastern European countries on governance, social and societal issues. The strategy for each individual country includes an analysis of the national situation on nuclear energy from a societal point of view, the main objectives and goals with regard to nuclear development, measures for fulfilment including funds and human resources, time dependencies and necessary support. The three scenarios evaluated were: scenario 1 – continuation of nuclear programmes as they are; scenario 2 – phase out and scenario 3- introduction of new nuclear reactors based on Generation 4.
Several issues of common interest were identified by the majority of national strategies in PLATENSO Central and Eastern European countries. Areas of social, societal and governance research required in the future in these countries are generic and as such, provide an excellent basis for topics to be included in future EURATOM research. The generic topics of common interest for possible investigation listed in Deliverable 4.4. include:
- Aspects of intergenerational ethics
- Construction of continuous dialogue
- Risk analysis, communication and perception
- Trust and control
- Geopolitics
- Economics and sustainability
- Emergency preparedness and response
The list presents a good starting point for research topics to be included in future EURATOM research priorities. National social, societal and governance research directions have been developed by the PLATENSO project partners and other involved institutions and can serve as an initial proposal for future national and international research projects, regardless of the actual policy regarding nuclear energy.
There are currently several initiatives developing a range of social, societal and governance research topics related to radioactive waste management, nuclear energy, radiation protection and ionizing radiation. Under SITEX and JOPRAD projects, the “knowledge shaping and interpretation” for civil society organisation in radioactive waste management has been proposed. EAGLE FP7 project has also developed the idea to form a European Platform for the Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities in research related to ionizing radiation. The CONCERT project is also developing a Strategic Research Agenda on social sciences and humanities related to radiation protection. Also, the IGD-TP and SNETP prepare their research priorities for EU level research activities. PLATENSO has proposed a Nuclear Energy Social Platform (NESP). All these different initiatives are still in a very early phase and it remains to be seen how they will be elaborated, integrated or merged.
Clearly, there is a need for harmonisation of social, societal and governance issues and their inclusion in future research programmes at the EU level.

1.5 WP5: Testing of research strategies and their implementation

The aim of WP 5 was to test the research strategies formulated in WP4 and define the possibilities of their successful implementation in CEE countries. The testing framework consisted of broad political, social and economic conditions, which influence the possibilities of implementation of the strategies. Moreover, the goal was to define the chances and opportunities for successful implementation of the strategies and adapt them as much as possible to stakeholders needs, by identifying their interests, expectations and attitudes towards social research on nuclear energy and social, societal and governance aspects.
As testing arena three countries were chosen: Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. The methodology of testing has been developed in a way which enables transferring the findings and results to the strategies prepared in other countries.
Analysis of the compatibility of the prepared research strategies with existing energy policies in participating countries and in the EU helped to take into account the various aspects of the energy sector and broad social context of its functioning. The analysis compared the research potential of the institutions, as identified in WP2 and WP4, within the broader context of the country/region/EU with a special attention paid to social, societal and governance issues. Results were used to adjust proposed research strategy to a dynamically changing socio-political environment of energy sector. This task was carried out through desk research of existing data.
The analyses were conducted as the first step, before the workshops and individual consultations. In-depth expert interviews were carried out with stakeholders from the energy sectors: politicians, policy advisors on various levels, energy experts, consultants, industry representatives as well as members of civil society organisations. The topic of the interviews were the research strategies themselves – the interviewees were asked to read the draft versions of research strategies beforehand. Discussing the national strategies with stakeholders aimed at getting their feedback and enabled adapting the strategies to the stakeholders’ needs.
Finally, national workshops were organised in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia, where the draft research strategies developed in WP4 were presented and discussed together with stakeholders from various institutions in order to obtain their feedback. Participants were experts, policy-makers, policy-advisors, decision-makers and politicians. The topics of the workshops consisted of issues raised in the three main scenarios of nuclear energy development.
The chances and opportunities for a successful implementation of research strategies were presented and discussed during Group 2 Discussion Round “Implementation of research strategies”, organised with external stakeholders during the networking workshop organised within WP6 in Budapest on 12 November 2015.
The results of the testing were presented and discussed within the whole consortium during project meetings in Budapest on 13 November 2015 and in Warsaw on 13 May 2016. The conclusions from the discussions have been implemented into the final report (D5.1). The results of the WP5 served as an input for finalizing national research strategies within WP4 (D5.1: Feedback to WP4 on draft report on national strategies).
The conclusions from the testing of the research strategies in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, can be summarized as follows:
- Strategies comply with legal state regulations and EU regulations covering areas like nuclear power, energy safety, research policy, social inclusion, etc;
- Strategies take into account already existing research institutions, although the real potential of institutions to undertake such research cannot be assessed and additional social sciences institutions could be engaged to increase social research potential of research networks;
- Strategies are compatible with existing structure of institutional linkages among governmental institutions, research institutions, NGOs and other actors. Establishment of a platform enabling the various stakeholders to share opinions and collaborate would be of great value to consolidate and reinforce these linkages;
- Strategies take into consideration contemporary trend to strengthen the position of stakeholders and to empower them for the decision-making. There is a lot of focus put on local actors and participation;
- Generally strategies take into consideration all stages of the energy cycle, although the Czech strategy missed the siting phase of a new nuclear power plant and the Slovak strategy misses the phase of mining the radioactive ores;
- Strategies distinguish all governance levels from EU to local level, but do not provide proposals to facilitate multi-level decision-making processes;
- Strategies comply with recent research trends that take into consideration social aspects related to nuclear energy;
- Strategies are compatible with available data sources, although it would be possible to widen its scope and go deeper in using the publicly available macro-, micro and administrative data;
- Strategies do not propose any measurement tools to assess the planned and implemented activities or to evaluate the success or failure of these activities.
1.6 WP6: Establishing a European Entity on Socio-economic matters linked to nuclear technology

The overall aim of this WP is to develop a proposal towards establishing a European Entity on Socio-economic matters linked to nuclear technology, which we have named “Nuclear Energy Social Platform”. A number of activities have taken place as part of this WP. In the initial phase a meeting was held in Stockholm for Swedish stakeholders with the aim to explain the idea and to search support for the platform. The idea was well taken and resulted in a Letter of Support from the Swedish Energy Agency which was disseminated before a meeting in Brussels on March 18, 2014 with European stakeholders. At that stage the vision was that the platform would not only be for nuclear energy but for energy in general and not only for New Member States but for the entire EU. This was also discussed at a meeting in Helsinki on April 15, 2014 at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. A clear interest in the social platform was expressed by the ministry. In the same context, a meeting was also held in Rez, Prague on October 2, 2014 about possible links between PLATENSO and ARCADIA projects. With time, especially in the context of meetings between the coordinator, the WP 6 leader and EC officers it became clear that the vision of a social platform for energy and for the entire EU was perhaps too ambitious for PLATENSO. Therefore, the PLATENSO platform could be restricted to nuclear energy and even focused to Generation IV reactor concept ALLEGRO, given the already foreseen cooperation between PLATENSO and ALLIANCE project.

Two networking workshops took place as part of this WP, the first one “Networking workshop on the future platform for enhanced societal research related to nuclear technology in Central and Eastern European Countries” held in Budapest on 12 November 2015 and the second one “International workshop and seminar: “Nuclear and Energy from the perspective of Social Sciences and Humanities” held in Warsaw on 7th April 2016. The workshops served to get in touch with other projects and organisations (like Net4Society, European Energy Research Alliance, HoNEST project, IAEA, etc) which might be interested in the Nuclear Energy Social Platform (NESP) and contribute to its creation. They also served to learn from similar initiatives, explore the feasibility of the platform, its characteristics and implementation details.
The intention is that NESP, while being a platform for multi-disciplinary research, should be problem driven by needs appearing from current programmes and future challenges in the nuclear area. The aims of the platform might include:
- promote social sciences and humanities studies related to decision making in nuclear matters of importance for governments, regional and local authorities, industry, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders;
- give guidance for future research, especially EU research programmes;
- provide an effective link between natural sciences, social sciences and humanities;
- boost education, training and knowledge sharing and information initiatives.
Tentatively, four types of activities are suggested for NESP:
- conducting Eurobarometer surveys on attitudes to nuclear power to assist decision makes in making informed policy decisions about nuclear energy based on public opinion;
- studies on the social and economic factors influencing decommissioning;
- links between informal stakeholder involvement processes and “real decision making” by governments, local authorities and courts needs to be clarified in the field of siting nuclear waste repositories;
- the development of Generation IV reactors will encounter not only technical but also social and societal challenges.
As part of this WP, the Virtual Information Centre (VIC, www.vicplatenso.eu) was developed following a blog type virtual space, an online tool to assist research institutions mapped in WP2 and to foster cooperation, as well as to become the operational component of the future Platform.

Potential Impact:
The PLATENSO project results, as documented in the deliverables published on the website, should contribute to the on-going discussion in different European initiatives regarding the integration of social sciences and humanities in research on nuclear energy or ionising radiation, radioactive waste management, radiation protection. PLATENSO has encouraged the reflection and has raised awareness around the need to enhance social, societal and governance research related to nuclear energy in Central and Eastern European countries and in Europe in general.

Key messages
There have been a large number of projects and implementation efforts in radioactive waste management programmes. It has also been demonstrated in some countries, like Sweden or Czech Republic, that stakeholder involvement can make a difference. However, these experiences are mostly related to the siting of nuclear waste management installations, whilst the rest of the nuclear sector is overlooked. The Radioactive Waste Management EC Directive presents three phases of decision-making – policy making, national programme and its implementation – and the requirement for effective participation is valid for all these phases. Stakeholder participation has typically been implemented in the site selection phase but the issues dealt with have often covered earlier phases as well. This means that many methods of participation can be used more widely than have been to date. The challenges encountered with stakeholder participation (e.g. lack of trust, lack of government interest, insufficient stakeholder participation, dialogue as one-way information provision) need to be addressed when developing research programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders. Furthermore, these challenges could be topics for research and thus, part of research strategies.
PLATENSO has built national networks to empower relevant research institutions in the area of social, societal and governance issues related to nuclear technology in 8 Member States. However, these networks will become inactive and disintegrate without national and EU support. Traditionally, nuclear energy policy has been a closed area and the level of social and societal engagement with this topic, particularly in Central and Eastern European countries has been very low. Additionally, the lack of research, the low political interest and low public engagement in this field has resulted in these topics being underdeveloped.
PLATENSO has created research strategies for social, societal and governance issues in 8 New Member States. The question is who will take these strategies on board and promote their implementation. Key factors for a successful implementation are: awareness amongst policy-makers of the importance of social, societal and governance issues in the nuclear field, existence of sufficient financial support, the functionality of the network and increased cooperation between actors.
PLATENSO has also delivered a proposal for a platform for nuclear related research in social, societal and governance issues. The Nuclear Energy Social Platform (NESP) proposed within the PLATENSO project aims to bring nuclear issues into the general energy governance debate in a more deliberate and reflexive way without taking premature standpoints. The intention is that NESP, while being a platform for multi-disciplinary research, should be problem driven by needs appearing from current programmes and future challenges in the nuclear area. However, the NESP should be authorised as an EU entity and needs the European Commission support to be launched. There must be also the expressed need by nuclear agencies and / or governmental agencies.

Potential impact

PLATENSO insights could contribute to the on-going initiatives that are developing social, societal and governance research topics related to radioactive waste management (like the IGD-TP, SITEX or JOPRAD), radiation protection (CONCERT project) and ionizing radiation (EAGLE project) and the current initiative resulting from the RICOMET 2016 to form a European platform of Social Sciences and Humanities in research related to ionizing radiation. Although it remains to be seen how these initiative will be developed, integrated, merged or forgotten, the reflections and findings from PLATENSO are relevant in view of developing future research topics, based on the needs of Central and Eastern European countries. The topics identified within PLATENSO and the characteristics and activities proposed for NESP could be included in future research programmes at the European level.
Impact within the field of governance, social and societal issues related to nuclear
Throughout the project, workshops, meetings and other regular contacts were organised with representatives of various stakeholder types in the field of nuclear energy, which stimulated interaction, exchange and learning. The Advisory Group consisted of four members representing different perspectives from potential end users in different countries: SURAO (Czech Republic); Hungarian Academy of Sciences / Centre for Energy Research (Hungary); Ministry of Economy (Poland) and Swedish National Council for Nuclear waste (Sweden). At one of the meetings, a representative of Centrum Vyzkumu Rez (Czech Republic) was also present. The Advisory Group provided good advice to the PLATENSO consortium, basically focusing on the need to bridge the gap from nuclear waste to nuclear in general, involving political scientists in governance research, tailoring participation processes for NGO involvement and finding a place for philosophy and ethics in NESP.
Indicators of the direct and potential further impact of the project, are:
- National networks of researchers in 8 New Member States were successfully established and close ties were built between organisations and individuals interested in participating in European or international projects.
- Workshops organised as part of WP3 brought together national actors concerned with nuclear energy governance (politicians, regulators, researchers and representatives from civil society and the nuclear industry) who rarely met before;
- The WP5 workshops organised in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia involved experts, policy-makers, policy advisors, decision makers and politicians. The topics of the workshops consisted of issues raised in the three main scenarios of nuclear energy development.
- The number and variety of participants at the two networking workshops organised by PLATENSO WP6. At both occasions between 40 people participated from up to 12 different countries, representing the scientific community, civil society and policy makers.
- The PLATENSO project was one of the organisers of the international conference RICOMET 2016, together with EAGLE, OPERA and CONCERT projects. This conference was attended by around 100 participants and resulted in the RICOMET Declaration expressing a need to better consider social sciences and humanities research within the Strategic Research Agendas of Technical radiological protection platforms.
- The PLATENSO project was extensively presented at the international conference SENIX 2015 The role of social sciences in a low carbon energy mix and also some presentations were given at SENIX 2016, where major steps were taken towards the creation of a social platform for energy issues.


List of Websites:
www.platensoproject.eu

Related information

Reported by

MERIENCE SCP
Spain

Subjects

Nuclear Fission
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