The Politics of Radioactive Waste Management : Public Involvement and Policy-Making in the European Union book cover
1st Edition

The Politics of Radioactive Waste Management
Public Involvement and Policy-Making in the European Union

ISBN 9780367583347
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Environmental concerns have pushed the decarbonisation of the European economy high on the EU political agenda. This has renewed old debates about the role of nuclear energy in the European economy and society that gravitate around the issues of nuclear safety and radioactive waste management (RWM). RWM carries many elements of technical complexity, scientific uncertainty and social value, which makes policy decisions highly controversial. Public participation is usually believed to improve these decisions, ease their implementation by solving substantial conflicts, and enhance trust and social acceptance.

Drawing upon sources including Euratom and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the author offers a detailed overview of public involvement in RWM in the EU, analysing the implementation of national policies through official programmes and the views of stakeholders from all Member States. This book highlights the key successes and challenges in the quest for greater participation in RWM, and extrapolates insights for other contested energy infrastructures and controversies in land use.

This book will be of great relevance to students, scholars and practitioners with an interest in radioactive waste management, energy policy, and EU environmental politics and policy.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1 – Nuclear energy and the management of radioactive waste

Chapter 2 – Public involvement in policy-making

Chapter 3 – The institutional challenge, key issues and stakeholders' needs

Chapter 4 – General principles for public involvement

Chapter 5 – National practices of public involvement

Chapter 6 – The involvement of local stakeholders

Chapter 7 – Public involvement, trust and social acceptance

Chapter 8 Public involvement in RWM: answers and implications

Chapter 9 Conclusions


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Gianluca Ferraro is a policy analyst. He has worked for the European Commission and the University of Leuven, Belgium


"This book provides a timely guide on public involvement in radioactive waste management, and challenges practitioners and scholars to rethink the governance of this wicked socio-technical problem. With its rich, empirical material and interdisciplinary appeal, it will engage all those interested in environmental policy and conflict resolution more in general." -- Valérie Pattyn, Assistant Professor in Public Administration, Institute of Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

"Gianluca Ferraro does an excellent job of alerting us to questions that need resolving in ‘wicked’ policy areas. This book draws out important lessons for scholarship on environmental governance and on the quality of democracy. Policymakers across governance levels and policy fields need to read this book to reflect on effective and legitimate long-term policy planning." -- Claire Dupont, Assistant Professor of European and International Governance, Ghent University, Belgium.

"Though the book itself concentrates on radioactive waste management, the insights provided by it on public involvement in EU decision-making processes have broader ramifications. Social acceptance of policies is not simply generated because citizens can be involved in the decision-making process, especially in safety related matters. This complexity is well-explained, and well-analyzed throughout the different chapters." -- Joery Matthys, Assistant Professor, Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, the Netherlands.