Vienna, AUS, 19 October 2023 – A new global partnership focused on the safe development of carbon-free nuclear power and sustainable radioactive waste management solutions  adopted a set of principles for engaging community leaders.

With a shared commitment to raising the local voice in nuclear matters, the Global Partnership of Nuclear Municipalities (Global Partnership) has adopted the following five principles.

  1. Engage municipalities in the process. Access to expertise and decision-makers is central to ensuring local priorities meet national interests.
  2. Create economic opportunities in the local community. Work with the local municipality to understand local economic development plans and the potential role of the project.
  3. Provide resources to the community to participate in the project. Ensure sufficient resources to ensure sustained engagement and address any needs of the region based on the project.
  4. Protect human health and the environment. Municipal leaders are charged with the health, safety and welfare of their communities, necessitating early engagement in any decision-making processes related to nuclear facilities.
  5. Educate and train the workforce. Educating and training the workforce is critical for any long-term project.

The Global Partnership currently includes The Group of European Municipalities with Nuclear Facilities in Europe (GMF Europe), the United States-based Energy Communities Alliance (ECA), and Canadian Association of Nuclear Host Communities (CANHC).

“Our countries face a range of energy challenges, and as elected leaders it remains imperative that we have direct access to government and industry decision-makers,” said Mayor Adrian Foster, mayor of Clarington, Ontario and Chair of CANHC. “Providing access helps ensure we can bridge the gap between national interests and local priorities, and together promote long-term solutions,” said Foster.

Project development, the leaders note, necessitates partnering with municipalities to solve the many political and social issues underlying the siting and development of new nuclear reactors and decommission of existing sites. The Global Partnership builds on the work of each organization to focus on education and advocacy in tackling these vital tasks.

At GMF we seek to “raise the voice of local actors, ensuring safety first, improving knowledge, promoting transparency and public engagement, and trying to influence policy and strategy at national and European levels” Gerben Dijksterhuis, GMF’s President. “We are facing a new era where a transition is going to be made to CO2 free energy. This is inevitably going to impact local communities. Therefore, they must have a voice in these developments. By joining forces, the voice of local communities becomes even stronger”.

These parties organized at an October 2022 meeting hosted by the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). Through that initial engagement and subsequent meetings in both the United States and Vienna, the principles began to define their shared goals and opportunities to partner on a global scale.

As ECA Chairman and West Richland Mayor/CEO Brent Gerry explains, “These five principles align with IAEA’s stakeholder engagement principles: Build trust, demonstrate accountability, promote transparent communication, provide early and frequent consultation, and communicate benefits and risks.” “By working together and adopting strategies to meet community-specific needs, we are better prepared to protect our constituents, support long-term workforce development, and usher in needed energy solutions,” Gerry noted.

The three organizations will continue their individual and joint advocacy for support for local host communities among regulators, current and future nuclear industry, and other members of the nuclear supply chain.

For more information on these organizations:

Please check the full statement Global partnership.

Image below: Meeting with Director General IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi