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Risk communication

(Work Package 4)

In this work package the project explores different meanings of risk, and investigates how good risk communication can be built taking cultural aspects into account. This is done by using two approaches. The first approach, conduced by Stavanger University, is to compare and summarize different countries' approaches to, and utilizations of, risk communication strategies in the managing of nuclear wastes. This will be done by questionnaires, interviews and focus groups in several countries.

The second approach, conducted by JRC, deals with expert and laypersons approaches to uncertainty. Many sources of uncertainty must be handled in safety assessments for nuclear waste repositories. There are technical tools that can propagate uncertainties in the inputs to output uncertainty. On the other hand, different stakeholders may have different concerns about risk and safety The way they see the problem, what worries them, does not necessarily fit the standard definitions and formats to report about uncertainty and risk in the technical and scientific area. There is thus a gap between the way engineers and scientists assess the safety of a repository and what different stakeholders demand from them to understand risk estimates and uncertainty. The work in this part of ARGONA tries to bridge this gap, first by finding out what different stakeholders expect from the experts, i.e. what kind of information they think should be communicated to them and what format could be most suitable. Then experts will explore how these demands can be met by new approaches to the safety assessment. 

The results of the two approaches to risk communication will be integrated to create a programme aimed at improving public awareness about risks associated with nuclear waste with a systematic approach to risk communication.

Britt-Marie Drottz Sjöberg, Stavanger University, Lead contractor;

Ricardo Bolado-Lavin,  Joint Research Centre,