The national body for radioactive waste and enriched fissile material organized a deliberative process bringing together 32 Belgian citizens in 2010 in order to develop its long-term management plan for category B and C radioactive waste.
Problems and Purpose
The objective of the deliberative process was to collect citizens' perceptions of the management of radioactive waste and to identify the important elements in the long-term management of the latter.
Background History and Context
The national body for radioactive waste and fissile materials (ONDRAF) was to submit to the federal government its long-term management plan for category B and C radioactive waste in 2010. To draft it, ONDRAF initiated a consultation process, including, in addition to the deliberative process, consultation with professionals.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
ONDRAF appointed the King Baudoin Foundation to organize the deliberative process.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
The selection process was carried out by an investigative firm and the King Baudoin Foundation. From a panel of 6,500 members contacted by mail, 148 individuals expressed an interest in the process. Of this number, 32 were selected so as to ensure the diversity of the panel in terms of age, place of residence, career path, and education. Among the members of this panel, 15 were French-speaking and 17 were Dutch-speaking.
Methods and Tools Used
ONDRAF's approach was inspired by the citizen jury method.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
The selected members were invited to three weekends of discussion. These were held in Hasselt (14 and 15 November 2009), in La Hulpe (12 and 13 December 2009) and in Brussels (30 and 31 January 2010). The first two weekends allowed citizens to learn more about the long-term management of radioactive waste. During the sessions, they were asked to choose the points they wanted to explore in more depth as well as the resource experts they wanted to hear from. The latter were invited to come and discuss with the participants and answer their questions during the last weekend of work before the drafting of the final report. In this report, they developed eighteen recommendations on the six sub-themes discussed.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The final report was sent to ONDRAF and ONDRAF added it to its Plan before submitting it to the federal government.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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The original submission of this case entry was adapted from Vrydagh, J., Devillers, S., Talukder, D., Jacquet, V. & Bottin, J. (2020). Les mini-publics en Belgique (2001-2018) : expériences de panels citoyens délibératifs. Courrier hebdomadaire du CRISP, 32(32-33), 5-72. https://doi.org/10.3917/cris.2477.0005. Please refer to the revision history for a detailed account of subsequent edits and additions made by the Participedia community.