10. Workshops and roundtables
See Background Papers Section 8
10.1 Report on Discussion with Senior Environmental and Sustainable Development Executives
Two half-day sessions with corporate environment and sustainable development executives were held on January 14 and 15, 2004 in Toronto and Calgary respectively. These sessions were to provide first hand advice to NWMO from senior environment and sustainable development executives in organizations in Canada that have dealt with significant social and environmental challenges. Five executives in Toronto and five in Calgary participated in the discussions. The individuals work for a cross-section of Canada’s major resource, energy, chemical, waste and recycling industries.
The participants indicated that the NWMO overall approach was generally sound. The need to earn the trust of Canadians in the management approach was a point that was frequently noted.
Several suggestions for improving the process for arriving at a recommendation on a management approach to used nuclear fuel were made. Some suggestions for improvement to the analytical framework and environmental aspects were also provided.
10.2 Report on National Stakeholder and Regional Dialogues
Between February and April 2004, DPRA, an independent consulting firm with expertise in environmental and management studies, led a series of dialogues to critically review Discussion Document #1. The dialogues were structured to bring together national stakeholders and individuals and organizations with an interest in long-term used fuel management, in each of the provinces which use nuclear power for an exchange of ideas and opinions on the document’s contents.
Key findings are that:
- The nature of the problem is multi-faceted
- The terms and definitions for key concepts are acceptable however the concept of disposal requires further investigation
- NWMO should consider following a step-wise or adaptive management approach to used fuel management
- A number of technical methods should not be considered in this study, while others should be given some type of consideration
- The breadth of issues and considerations identified in the analytical framework is comprehensive and appropriate
- Consideration should be given to adding
- Education, communications and awareness
10.3 Roundtable Dialogue with Youth at the International Youth Nuclear Congress - Summary Report
The International Youth Nuclear Congress was held in Canada in April 2004. The NWMO sponsored an open-invitation round-table dialogue during the Congress, to enable the youth to discuss the key issues and questions presented in Discussion Document #1. The notes of that session follow.
10.4 Roundtable Dialogue with Durham Nuclear Health Committee - Summary Report
In January 2004 NWMO presented its first discussion document “Asking the Right Questions” to the Durham Nuclear Health Committee a committee established by the Council of the Region of Durham, in Ontario, to review, discuss and improve the public's understanding of radiation and related human health effects in the Region of Durham.
At that time the Durham Nuclear Health Committee (DNCH) requested a facilitated session to work through the document with the citizen members of the committee. It was held in April 2004, facilitated by an independent firm. The notes of that session follow.
10.5 Public Policy Forum: Implementing a Strategy for the Long-term Management of Used Nuclear Fuel
On December 6, 2004 the Public Policy Forum held a roundtable with senior opinion leaders from the private and non-profit sectors who were asked to comment on potential elements of an implementation plan that would ensure that Canadians would be confident in the long-term solutions undertaken to manage nuclear fuel waste.
The roundtable gave opinion leaders the opportunity to provide insight to NWMO on:
- policy challenges and opportunities;
- characteristics of a successful implementation policy; and
- designing institutions for public confidence.
This report summarizes the discussion.
10.6 Dialogue: National Stakeholders and Regional Dialogue Sessions
Hardy Stevenson and Associates
In March and April 2004, the NWMO held a series of national and regional dialogues. These meetings brought together seventy-three people and organizations with a history of involvement in the subject of how Canada should manage its nuclear fuel wastes and others with an interest in similar public policy issues. Participants were asked to critically review the NWMO's first discussion document, Asking the Right Questions?
The National and Regional Dialogues were re-convened in January and February 2005 to review the NWMO's second discussion document Understanding the Choices and to seek input on the preliminary assessment of the management options and the NWMO's implementation strategy. Fifty-nine people participated in these re-convened dialogues held in Toronto, Mississauga, Fredericton and Montreal.
During the two-day sessions, participants commented on the Assessment Framework, and provided their opinions about the strengths and limitations of the management approaches. They also provided advice to the NWMO on implementation considerations.
Among the observations made in the report:
"Participants were generally supportive of a Deep Geological Disposal concept, or variations of this management approach. They understood the need to think about a staged, adaptable and flexible management approach, however participants were very supportive of making a firm decision about a management approach and moving forward. ..."
[Report correction: The Quebec Regional Dialogue Session took place in Montreal, on February 25 & 26 at Le Centre Sheraton, not the Hyatt Regency hotel, as noted on page 46 of the report.]
10.7 Workshop on the Nature of the Hazard of Used Nuclear Fuel
A workshop involving 16 individuals knowledgeable on various technical, environmental, health, social and ethical aspects of used nuclear fuel addressed the question "What is the nature of the hazard from used nuclear fuel."
A facilitator's report and participants' statement summarize the results of this workshop.
10.8 Community Dialogue Workshop
Hardy Stevenson and Associates
In October 2003 a Community Dialogues Planning Workshop was convened to suggest ways of enabling reactor site communities to participate meaningfully in the process. Twenty-one individuals participated, representing various perspectives including: environment, labour, industry, business, citizen, health and local government. They were drawn from communities in the vicinities of the seven nuclear storage sites in Canada.
In February 2005 participants from the 2003 workshop were reconvened for a two-day session in Toronto to review the NWMO's second discussion document Understanding the Choices. During the two-day sessions, participants commented on the Assessment Framework, and provided their opinions about the strengths and limitations of the management approaches. They also provided advice to the NWMO on implementation considerations.
10.9 Draft Study Report Dialogue Sessions
A series of dialogue sessions on the Draft Study Report was held in six cities across five provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Québec, and Ontario) between June 22 and July 20, 2005. The objectives of the dialogue sessions were to provide opportunities for participants to comment on the draft NWMO recommendation and Draft Study Report; provide for an exchange of views; and provide the NWMO with the opportunity to improve the recommendation before its finalization.
With the exception of Manitoba, each of the provinces chosen have direct involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle. Manitoba was included in response to a request for a dialogue in Pinawa, due to its long-standing involvement with the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Whiteshell Laboratories and the Underground Research Laboratory located near that community. Participants were invited to the sessions on the basis of their prior involvement with NWMO activities and research and their expressed interest in the NWMO’s work.
Dialogues were held in Pinawa,MB, Saskatoon, SK, Saint John, NB, Trois-Riviéres, QC and Toronto and North Bay, ON.
10.10 Draft Study Report Dialogue Session: Durham Nuclear Health Committee
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization hosted a dialogue session with the Durham Nuclear Health Committee on June 10, 2005. The dialogue was facilitated by Stratos, an independent consulting organization. The purpose of the dialogue session was to:
- Provide an opportunity for the Durham Nuclear Health Committee to comment on the draft NWMO recommendation and Draft Study Report;
- Provide a forum for an exchange of views; and
- Provide the NWMO with the opportunity to improve the recommendation before it is finalized.
This report is a summary of views expressed at the dialogue session.
10.11 Workshop on the Assessment Team Process
A group of interested individuals asked the NWMO to convene a session to help further their understanding of the process used by the Assessment Team to conduct its preliminary assessment. The report of the Assessment Team was one of many important inputs to NWMO’s second discussion document, Understanding the Choices.
NWMO contracted with Dr. Lee Merkhofer, who had provided technical advice and guidance to the Assessment Team over the course of its work, to design a one day session for this purpose.
The session was designed to provide insight into the multi-attribute utility analysis process used by the Assessment Team by having participants experience some key aspects of the process. A similar although much smaller version of this exercise was used in the National Stakeholder and Regional Dialogues which followed release of Understanding the Choices.
We attach here the materials which were developed for the workshop for the review, and use, of all those who are interested.