Exploring the Concept of Risk
In 2009/10, Bill Leiss, Professor emeritus at the School of Policy Studies, Queens University, and a Scientist, with the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, prepared a series of papers on the subject of risk communication. A noted scholar and author on the subject of risk, Dr. Leiss produced three papers designed to help interested citizens determine for themselves the best way to approach the risks associated with nuclear fuel waste storage and disposal.
There are three papers in this series, which are intended to be read in sequence:
Paper #1: How should matters of risk and safety be discussed?
The first paper addresses the question of how to approach discussions about risk in this area. Four “reference frames” are used to demonstrate the different approaches or perspectives that can be applied to a conversation about this risk: the energy policy frame; the risk and safety frame; the overriding values frame, and; the geographical frame.
Paper #2: How might communities organize their discussions about hosting a site for used nuclear fuel?
This paper presents a variety of deliberative tools that a community might use when holding discussions about hosting a facility. Communities involved in a site selection process may wish to consider how the process of engagement might unfold in the context of their own unique situation, and the author describes some types of formal and informal methods for facilitating reasoned debates about controversial issues.
Paper #3: What is happening in other countries where similar issues about used nuclear fuel are being discussed?
This final paper deals primarily with high-level radioactive waste management and provides an overview of the plans of various countries to deal with their high-level waste. All of the information is taken from publicly-available Internet sources, most of which are websites maintained either by national agencies that have legal responsibility for the waste within their borders, or international agencies with other types of mandates in this area. Profiles for 16 countries are provided, along with a large collection of references and links to internet-based resources, as well as a table illustrating the progress of each country in managing radioactive waste.