Title: Stakeholder Involvement : a Key Element for Environmental Sustainability and Safety in Uranium Mining
Citation: Proceedings of ICEM'07
Publisher: IAEA
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC37928
URI: http://www.icemconf.com/Portals/3/ICEM07_Advance_Program_FINAL.pdf; http://www.icemconf.com/UMREGMeeting/tabid/202/Default.aspx
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The image of the uranium mining industry world-wide has largely been painted by the environmental legacies of the Cold War period and particularly by legacies accrued in the early years when the problems were not well understood and when there was little or not adequate regulatory oversight. However, since the late 1980s considerably effort has been expended by the governments concerned and by the mining companies themselves to deal with those legacies and to improve the environmental records of the ongoing operations. Many lessons have been learnt from the past. Steeply rising uranium prices over the past couple of years are triggering a renewed interest in uranium mining around the World. Questionable environmental and safety records of many mining operations – not just those mining uranium, however, have made stakeholders skeptical and operations are watched with suspicion, and not without reason. Engaging stakeholders in a honest way has many benefits for both sides: it smoothes the licensing and operation procedure for the company and it provides some assurance that operations will be safe and environmentally benign as possible. Openness and pro-activeness in this area will work towards developing a ‘green’ image of the industry. In practice, however, engaging stakeholders is by no means a simple process. While operators naturally tend to focus on their immediate vicinity, in fact the most outspoken groups may be geographically quite far removed. Experience shows that whoever voices interest in the matter should be considered a ‘stakeholder’. In this sense the European Union, its organisations and its citizens, are also stakeholders in the process of World-wide uranium mining. We are profiting from the energy resources and we are spending money on developing projects in various countries in which uranium mining is undertaken or is planned. Operators and regulators alike, therefore, should take a keen interest in assuring that European stakeholders are satisfied that operations are safe and environmentally benign. This paper will briefly discuss the objectives, difficulties encountered and modes of stakeholder engagement.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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