Last week we shared a report from one of Japan’s leading newspapers, The Mainichi, that claimed geological disposal would be discussed at the forthcoming G20 Summit. We also said we’d seek to find out further information.
What we have found out:
We keep a watching brief. Even if the conference proposal does not get raised at the G20 this time, the need to globalise the debate does not recede. The Japanese will certainly keep banging their drum.
However, the nature of any conference and subsequent global debate is important. If it is just the same nuclear sector faces speaking only to each other, “the converted”, then little progress is likely to be made. It is time to include community voices in the debate. There is a sound basis to build upon the initial work of the ground-breaking IAEA technical workshop from last November, at which municipalities and community representatives from around the world gave a common message to the nuclear sector – listen to us, don’t lecture us.
The IAEA workshop revealed the many, largely unheard, community voices that provide powerful and relatable testimony in favour of geological disposal. And in a world of fake news, faux science and information overload, these communities can create ashared repository of knowhow and experience which is more publicly trusted than anything a government, agency or NGO can ever hope to achieve.