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InSOTEC Stakeholder Seminar

posted Dec 9, 2011, 4:05 AM by InSOTEC Admin   [ updated Feb 15, 2012, 8:48 AM ]

INVITATION to discuss Socio-Technical Challenges of Long-Term Radioactive Waste Management for our society


What?  InSOTEC Stakeholder Seminar
March 21-22, 2012

                    Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Campus de la Comunicació – Poblenou - C/ Roc Boronat, 138

All InSOTEC partners would like to invite you to their first Stakeholder Seminar. This seminar will take place in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday, 21 (10:30 – 18:00) and Thursday, 22 (9:00 to 14:00) March 2012.

InSOTEC (International Socio-Technical Challenges for Geological Disposal) is a research project funded by the European Commission within the 7th EURATOM Framework Programme, which aims to generate a better understanding of the complex interplay between the technical and the social in radioactive waste management and, in particular, in the implementation of geological disposal.

On the basis of this analysis InSOTEC will provide practical suggestions on how to address the socio-technical challenges identified within national and international contexts, and it will deliver insights into how mechanisms for interaction between the technical community and a broad range of socio-political actors could be developed.

The InSOTEC consortium consists of 12 research partners from 10 European countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK. The Group of European Municipalities with Nuclear Facilities (GMF), is also a partner in this project.

 More detailed information on InSOTEC is to be found on the project’s website (


What are the benefits of attending? The seminar provides an opportunity to:

-          learn about innovative new research;

-          provide feedback on preliminary research results and contribute actively to the further development of the research activity (e.g. suggest priorities, advise on case studies, …)

-          network with stakeholders from interested municipalities and communities, from different expert/research communities, and from national and international organisations dedicated to this issue.


Who will be participating in this first Stakeholder Seminar?

-          organisations working on or interested in geological disposal and RWM in general

-          representatives of local communities hosting nuclear facilities, repositories or storage facilities or which are candidates to host one

-          social scientific and technical researchers


What are the objectives of the Stakeholder Seminars?

-          to communicate the project’s progress

-          to receive feedback on the work so far & input for further research

-          to provide a platform for dialogue and exchange between different types of stakeholders: concerned groups (politicians, citizens and citizen groups from affected communities, NGO’s, …), social scientists and technical scientists and experts (from waste management organisations, technical safety organisations, research institutes, universities…)


What are the main topics to be discussed in Barcelona?

-          Socio-technical challenges for implementing geological disposal

Key challenges for radioactive waste management are located at the intersection of generic, technical management concepts and the real world environment in which such concepts are to be implemented. The InSOTEC partners are currently investigating which challenges are primarily considered of importance and by whom in their respective countries, as well as in the Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA and Canada. The results of a comparative analysis of these findings will be presented at the seminar.

-          Choice of case studies for further research

      Based on the above findings, a proposition will be made of possible case studies, to develop a fine-grained understanding of the relationships between social challenges and technical challenges. The focus will be on ‘problem driven’ cases in which the combination of the social and technical is an issue/problem for the various actors and stakeholders involved. We therefore seek input from participants to ensure that the cases that are selected are interesting from both a practical and a theoretical point of view, and will help to shed light on the ways in which social and technical challenges are entangled.

-          Knowledge networks on RWM and how they address socio-technical issues

Another aspect of InSOTEC research, is to investigate how existing knowledge networks on radioactive waste management (on the local, national and international level) address socio-technical issues. At this seminar, we will present some first results and discuss further the possibilities for those networks to address socio-technical issues in an integrated way. One particular knowledge network on RWM is the recently established European Implementing Geological Disposal Technology Platform (IGD-TP), which has invited InSOTEC partners to consider how to link different types of stakeholders to the platform’s Exchange Forum on a structured basis. As part of the seminar’s “network session”, we intend to discuss the interest of various stakeholder groups in the platform and vice versa, and to gain feedback on possible recommendations to the IGD-TP on this matter.


Further programme details in attachment.


The seminar will be free, but registration beforehand is obligatory. If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please reply to this email address ( with your full contact details and an indication of your professional background or role, so we can keep you informed.

 The project has a limited budget to cover travel and subsistence expenses for participants without their own financial resources. Please contact Martine Vandervelden for further information if you think this may apply to your situation.

 Please feel free to forward this invitation to other people or organisations you know who may be interested in our seminar.

 Many thanks in advance for your interest in our project,


Anne Bergmans

InSOTEC – Coordinator

 University of Antwerp - Faculty of Political and Social Sciences – Society & Environment

Sint-Jacobstraat 2, BE-2000 ANTWERPEN

tel: +32 3 265.55.42 - fax: +32 3 265.57.98 - e-mail: