Nuclear waste authority seeks help to engage public

Government body looks for comms consortium to convince public on waste disposal.

A Government body overseeing the proposed burial of radioactive waste in the UK has launched a hunt for comms help in a bid to head off a local community backlash.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's Radioactive Waste Management Directorate has launched a search for a consortium of agencies as local councils propose waste sites in Kent's Romney Marsh and three locations in West Cumbria.

NDA RWMD head of stakeholder and community engagement Elizabeth Atherton said the agencies would be doing 'more than easing concerns', adding the engagement processes were about 'getting beyond traditional engagement to working in partnership with communities'.

But the consortium that wins the brief is expected to face significant local opposition to the waste plans. Last week, a poll by The Hythe Herald of residents in Shepway, which contains Romney Marsh, showed that 55 per cent were against hosting the proposed £12bn national waste centre.

Atherton explained any high-cost projects carried out by the consortium would have to be individually approved following Government directives to cut quango PR spending.

The authority is taking the unusual step of appointing comms support via the Government's framework of sustainability companies, which does not actually contain PR agencies. However, companies pitching for the business will be expected to set up a consortium with a comms consultancy.

Atherton explained the move: 'The Government is supposed to be developing a new comms framework, and we don't know under what timescale it is going to come out.'

The news follows PRWeek's story last week that EDF Energy has appointed Pagefield to win support for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk.

NUCLEAR WASTE BURIAL

The NDA was set up in 2004. Ministerial plans for Britain's first burial of waste from nuclear power stations could be put into action as early as 2029, a report by The Independent recently suggested.

Sites under consideration include Kent's Romney Marsh and three sites in West Cumbria overseen by Cumbria County Council, Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.