GMF and social scientists from SCK CEN co-organised a workshop on communication and stakeholder engagement in decommissioning in the framework of the 9th international RICOMET conference on social sciences and humanities in ionising radiation research which took place at Tabloo in Dessel, Belgium on 29th August 2023. The workshop was restricted to local communities from Dessel and Mol and was held in Dutch.

The GMF members, the mayor of Dessel, Mr. Kris van Dijck and the mayor of Mol, Mr. Wim Caeyers gave welcome words to the participants. In addition, the mayor of Borsele, Mr. Gerben Dijkterhuis and the emergency coordinator of Beveren, Mr. Yves D’Eer, both members of GMF, also participated in the event.

The participants discussed the (future) decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Both countries, Belgium and the Netherlands, have decommissioning on their agendas but  are also exploring the potential development of new nuclear facilities. In Belgium, this exploration is exemplified by the recent federal investment in research on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), while the Dutch government has the intention to build two new nuclear power plants. Local communities both within and across national boundaries could be affected by these activities. For this reason, the workshop invited residents of local communities for a workshop dedicated to explore the questions, concerns, and attention points local communities might have regarding the decommissioning of nuclear installations, and the seemingly re-emerging national interest in new facilities.

From left to right, Wim Caeyers (mayor of Mol), Gerben Dijkterhuis (mayor of Borsele), Meritxell Martell (GMF coordinator), Kris van Dijck (mayor of Dessel) and Yves D’Eer (emergency coordinator in Beveren)

Local citizens from the partnerships MONA (Mol) and STORA (Dessel), organisers of the workshop and GMF members