Demonstrating the Use of a Framework for Risk-Informed Decisions with Stakeholder Engagement through Case Studies for NORM and Nuclear Legacy Sites

Kontić Branko, Black Paul, French, Simon, Paulley Alan, Ming Zhu, Yankovich Tamara, Webster Michael, Stéphane Pepin, Bizjak Tine, Bohanec Marko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The international community has come a long way in developing a consensus that the
remediation and management of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and nuclear legacy sites will benefit from the use of the framework for risk-informed decision-making. Such a framework should ideally integrate risk assessment (RA) and decision-making. The framework presented in this paper specifically addresses the needs and expectations in the wider socioeconomic and environmental context, as well as a narrower human health context. The framework was demonstrated as part of the International Atomic Energy Agency's second Modelling and Data for Radiological Impact Assessments (MODARIA II) Programme. Three case studies, which have used or could use this integrative approach, are used for illustration. The first concerns remediation from uranium mining activities at Beaverlodge Lake in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, engaging stakeholders (also called ‘interested parties’) in the decision-making process on further options. The second case study suggests how decision analysis could support the selection of the best option for waste disposal for uranium ore processing at Žirovski vrh, Slovenia, taking into account a potential landslide and migration of waste throughout the adjacent valley in the event of flooding. The third case study presents the process and results of radiological safety assessment of the Kepkensberg sludge basin in Tessenderlo area, Belgium both before and after the disposal of material from remediation of the nearby Winterbeek River. It illustrates how such assessments could interface with decision analysis for the purpose of supporting the regulatory decisions related to future approval of a waste disposal option. Results show that formal stakeholder engagement in decision analysis provides a strong contribution to objective, robust, and transparent decision-making not only for radiation protection area but also in others where health and environmental impacts are of concern. A number of recommendations for future work have also been made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


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