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2.3.1 The purpose of stakeholder involvement

The aim of stakeholder involvement in the management of radioactively contaminated sites and/or groundwater is to ensure effective external participation, whether required by the regulatory framework or included in the organisational policy, in order to improve the decision-making process, to develop approaches that can be implemented with community support, to improve transparency, to build trust and to take better decisions [Principle 2] [CIRIA-2005]. Stakeholder involvement is also important to risk management and it can prevent, resolve or help to manage problems caused by external opposition to projects. Where something has gone wrong, systematic involvement can re-establish effective communication and help to resolve difficulties. Not all conflicts may be prevented or resolved and disagreement may remain on some principles, but it should enable co-operation and mitigating the sources of particular dispute.

It is considered that not all stakeholders have to be involved in all decision-making steps for each radioactively contaminated land and/or groundwater issue on every site. In case of doubt, stakeholder involvement should be included, but the level of consultation and involvement should be proportionate to the technical and societal significance of the decision. The aim should be to strive for consensus support within the community, and therefore account should be taken of the local community’s perception of the need for involvement. This means, there is a need for building trust.