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Verdun (Meuse, France)
27&28 February, 1&2 March 2002



Further develop the Cowam objectives initiated in Oskarshamn seminar, providing the local communities and NGOs with the opportunity :

- to get insights of the ways other communities and NGOs work in the field of nuclear waste management and of the respective bases and conditions for their work;

- to establish contacts with other communities and NGOs representatives involved in nuclear waste management;

- to gain ideas how their role and work can be improved in order to increase the importance and influence of the local perspective and the local factors in the decisions made about nuclear waste management.

- structure the reflections to develop a shared understanding of the questions at stake by the various actors involved and elaborate concrete and practicable recommendations within the 18 following months.


The second seminar took place in Verdun (France). It started on Wednesday 27th February 2002 evening and ended on Saturday 2nd March with technical visits of the local waste management facilities (see detailed program).

The first day of the seminar was dedicated to case studies presentations (1) in plenary sessions and discussions within working groups (2). The second day started in the morning with a kick-off meeting for the recommendation groups (3); it ended with a concluding reporting session in the afternoon.

Two case studies are presented :

• Gorleben (Germany)
• Bure (France)


1. Case study presentation

As the various european national experiences in nuclear waste management were recognised in Oskarshamn as a major opportunity to learn lessons and improve future strategies, the 2nd Cowam seminar will continue the review of national experiences (Germany and France) with the same methodological approach. Each case study points out the decision-making process in siting and/or managing a nuclear waste facility. The particularity of these case studies consists in their being presented by various actors coming from different positions and playing different roles in the decision-making process : local communities, NGOs, operators, and public authorities.

2. Working groups

In parallel sessions communities and NGOs on the one side, and operators and regulators on the other side draw their own analysis in separate working groups. Following each case study presentation, the working group sessions are a major opportunity for different categories of actors from communities and NGOs to make acquaintance, share peer experience and work together on nuclear waste management case studies during a whole day and to elaborate shared views on relevant issues. At the end of the seminar, each working group presents its views and conclusions in a plenary session.
The same ten working groups (7 local communities and NGOs WG, 2 operators WG, 1 nuclear authorities WG) as in 2. Working groupsOskarshamn will meet again and resume the analysis with two new case studies (Bure, Gorleben).

3. Recommendation groups (RG)

In order to build a shared understanding of the issues discussed in Cowam, mixed groups comprising representatives of local communities, NGOs, operators and regulators will meet in recommendation groups (RG).
One major objective of Cowam is to develop practicable recommendations to improve the decision-making process at the local level for managing and siting waste management facilities. The RG will work out recommendations within the 18 months following the Verdun seminar. Each group will be given the task to analyse two specific framing issues among the four topics identified in Oskarshamn seminar (see document "Topical issues - Framing paper", oncoming).
Before the seminar each participant will receive a copy of the framing paper. At the beginning of the Verdun seminar, participants will be provided with a list where they will identify the RG they belong to and the two topics it is asked to address.


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