The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) was set up in late 2003 by the UK Government as an ‘independent’ committee. It was charged with developing a new policy for the management of the UK’s higher-activity radioactive wastes (CoRWM 2006, p. 2) and was required to make its recommendations by July 2006. CoRWM’s terms of reference gave it two major objectives in developing a new policy: ‘to protect people and the environment’, and ‘to inspire public confidence’ (CoRWM 2006, Annex 1). For this latter objective, CoRWM was explicitly required to engage extensively with both the public and stakeholders (see discussion below on the distinction between these two categories). In practice, a larger share of both CoRWM’s time and money was spent on engagement activity than on the ‘scientific’ objective of ensuring protection for people and the environment. This chapter reflects on the experience of that engagement, which has been widely regarded as a relatively successful process (Simmons and Bickerstaff 2006).
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