Evaluating use of the GDA process in public dialogue about new nuclear facilities

In January 2015, Resources for Change was asked to support Icarus, a consultancy based in Yorkshire with the evaluation of public dialogue events run by Sciencewise around the introduction of new nuclear facilities. The events, which focused on the GDA (Generic Design Assessment) process used to evaluate the appropriateness of the technology being developed for the potential proposed site, were held in Gloucestershire, and Bangor, North Wales, both areas close to sites where new nuclear power plants are being proposed.

Members of the public were recruited at random, provided with information about the proposals, examined written materials provided to the public from both the developers and other sources, such as the regulators, and the information they provided on the day will inform the way the regulators provide information to the public in the future. The Bangor event was held bilingually, with participants able to contribute in Welsh, or English as they chose.

Our role was to evaluate how effective the day was, and we did this by observation and asking participants to complete a semi structured questionnaire, together with follow up telephone calls with some participants. We looked at how well participants had understood the complex information provided, which materials were most clear, how they would prefer to receive future communications, and what aspects of any proposed nuclear development still held anxieties for them.

We then made recommendations as to how such events might be even more effective in the future.

For more information on this contract please contact Cerys.

You can find out more information about this public dialogue on the Sciencewise website.