Joint Statement InfoArena 2016 meeting point Lofoten
Guardians of our Common Seas, Bellona , Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and
Sellafield Ltd have held their 11th joint conference on nuclear waste and safety on 23 June 2016.
The conference welcomed Sarah Gillett British Ambassador to Norway, Robert Marshall Icelandic representative to the Nordic Council and Takafumi Ihara, representing TEPCO in respect of stakeholder relations at Fukushima Daiichi . It was attended by representatives of the Nordland and Hordaland Counties, as well as technical experts, radiological regulators (NRPA and ONR), the management of Sellafield Ltd, the UK Government (DECC) and the NDA. The conference focused on nuclear safety, environmental impacts and the oversight by Norwegian and UK regulators.
The operations and decommissioning of Sellafield have been issues of public and political concerns for the Nordic countries. The conference was given an update on the plans and progress being made at Sellafield in reducing risks and hazards at the site, particularly those associated with High Active Liquor stocks. The conference also heard the views of the Nordic representatives and were given an appraisal of the UK's policy and strategy on nuclear matters that are of concern to the Nordic countries.
The broad and cooperative approach has been met with openness and transparency at Sellafield. This has provided a robust basis on which discussions have taken place. This has done much to build trust and confidence in the operations and activities at Sellafield.
Rene McTaggart, of the UK Government`s Department of Energy and Climate Change ) DECC) said “The success of the dialogue has been built on an atmosphere of trust that has resulted in a better understanding of the issues by interested parties in Norway and the UK. He also restated the high priority given to nuclear safety so that safety is at the heart of the UK decision making process”.
It was agreed that dialogue on Sellafield will continue so that the productive relationships between Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd., Guardians of our Common Seas and Bellona can continue. To maintain the tranparency with Sellafield Ltd, meetings will continue for regular updates on progress, challenges, the latest developments and plans regarding the safety at Sellafield and Thorp.
Per-Kaare Holdal from Guardians of our Common Seas and Nils Bøhmer from Bellona underlined the value that InfoArena has been able to provide greater transparency during the years of discussion with Sellafield Ltd., NDA and. And we agree that it is important to continue dialogue in the years to come until the risks and hazard reduction goals have been reached.
Per-Kaare Holdal made the following proposal that was unanimously accepted by the conference participants:
“ The InfoArena conferences have been a very important forum for developing mutual understanding and for expressing views and concerns. We have now reached a stage where there is trust and confidence in our relationship. We have travelled a long way on our journey to achieving the goal of reducing risks and hazards at Sellafield. We are not fully there yet but we feel that InfoArena events are no longer necessary. I propose therefore that in future we have smaller meetings where progress and challeges can be reported and discussed. These will take place on a regular basis of no less than once a year.”