Stakeholder engagement: nuclear energy

Engaging with a wide range of stakeholders is an essential part of any nuclear programme. Involving stakeholders in decision making on nuclear power programmes can enhance public awareness, understanding and confidence in the application of nuclear science and technology, and strengthen communication among the key organizations involved. This is also important for those stakeholders that do not have a direct role in making those decisions.

Member States often identify effective communication with stakeholders as one of the biggest challenges when initiating a nuclear power programme or undertaking related activities, such as uranium mining. Creating awareness and promoting understanding among stakeholders—whether from the nuclear industry, government, the media, local communities or non-governmental organizations—are essential to building mutual trust. Designing and implementing productive stakeholder involvement programmes starts with communicating energy policies and strengthening stakeholders’ understanding of nuclear power, including its benefits and risks.

The IAEA provides guidance on communicating and engaging with both internal and external stakeholders. It regularly holds national and regional workshops on stakeholder engagement and integrates this issue into its review missions. The IAEA publication on Stakeholder Engagement in Nuclear Programmes provides theoretical and practical guidance on the development and implementation of stakeholder engagement programmes and activities. The IAEA publication Communication and Stakeholder Involvement in Radioactive Waste Disposal offers practical guidance for countries embarking on, relaunching or revising a disposal programme.

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