Nuleaf is active in international networks and research projects. Through these we learn from the experience of others on decommissioning, Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) siting processes and the social, economic and environmental aspects of nuclear legacy management. We are also able to share our insights on the large and complex nuclear legacy in the UK, and the role that local authorities and communities play.
The Group of European Municipalities with Nuclear Facilities (GMF) is a network for local authorities from across the continent. It has members in countries as diverse as Sweden, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland and Russia.
The network organises meetings and site visits to nuclear facilities and engages with the European Union and Commission to represent members views and influence nuclear policy and strategy. Nuleaf’s Executive Director is currently a Vice-President of the organisation.
GMF membership encompasses municipalities with an interest in legacy, operational and new nuclear sites. Nuleaf’s interest in the group is in the decommissioning and radioactive waste management aspects of its work.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a global organisation based in Vienna. It reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. Its objective is to “… seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.”
There is growing recognition within IAEA that local communities have an essential role to play in radioactive waste management programmes, both in decision making processes and programme implementation. In 2017 Nuleaf was invited to act as the UK representative at a technical meeting on Learning from Experience of Local Involvement in Radioactive Waste Management and this was followed up by a further meeting in 2018 where two Nuleaf member authorities also participated.
Subsequently Nuleaf’s Executive Director has been involved in producing the report on this workstream which is currently in the process of being signed off by member states. It is anticipated that the IAEA will undertake further engagement with Nuleaf and others representing the local level in future.