Public Participation in the Siting Procedure for a Final Repository: Challenges of a Cross-generational, Self-reflecting and Learning Procedure

The German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management mandated a two-year research project in which the challenges of public participation in the siting procedure for a final repository for high-level radioactive waste in Germany are analyzed. Based on this analysis policy recommendations will be formulated. The main research question is how a dialogue-oriented public participation process should be designed focusing on the aim of determining a disposal site. As a first step, the research project will review the current research literature on participation processes facing similar challenges. Based on this, conclusions will be drawn on public participation in the siting procedure. Furthermore, the project will analyze how the legal claim for a self-reflecting and learning procedure might be fulfilled and how future visions for a final repository might support the societal debate.

An interdisciplinary scientific project group deals with the topics of the research project, namely the Öko-Institut e.V. (project leader), the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and team ewen GbR from Darmstadt.