COPELAND’S Deputy Mayor shared the successful West Cumbrian model of community engagement at a prestigious international nuclear conference.
Councillor David Moore was invited to speak at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s five-day conference on Stakeholder Involvement in Radioactive Waste Management at the United Nations Centre in Vienna, Austria. He was one of only two UK delegates invited in a field made up of representatives from across Europe, Asia and Africa.
Councillor Moore, also Chair of the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholders Group which scrutinises the nuclear industry locally, said: “The purpose is to establish best practice in terms of community engagement over the treatment, storage and disposal of nuclear waste.
“Approaches vary across the world, but it was heartening when you hear the feedback from international delegates that West Cumbria is seen as world-leaders in this field.
“In many parts of the world, it’s simply the nuclear industry telling the community what it believes they need to know; it’s very much industry-led.
“Here, it’s led by the community, which is our key strength, and that’s the message I was keen to get across at the conference. It’s about the community and their representatives driving the agenda, engaging with the industry, and vice-versa, to discuss and debate the issues.
“Through the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholders Group, we also recognise the need to work with the next generation. We’re working with youth councils, graduates and apprentices to act as a forum to allow themselves and the nuclear industry to engage over what their priorities are.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency will use the output from the conference to produce a paper on stakeholder engagement. Councillor Moore was a guest of NuLeAF (Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum).