Strategic stakeholder dialogue and social sustainability indicator development for nuclear decision- making in Anglesey, North Wales

Parry, Ioan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1847-3036 (2017) Strategic stakeholder dialogue and social sustainability indicator development for nuclear decision- making in Anglesey, North Wales. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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As new nuclear power developments are proposed for the UK over the coming decades, it is important that public engagement and decision-making processes for these developments are carried out as effectively and sustainably as possible to benefit both current and future generations and mitigate negative social impact and conflict, particularly at the local scale. Alternative approaches are required to those employed historically, which were often expert-led, public-excluding, and vulnerable to extensive critique and opposition, particularly for large-scale and often contentious industrial or technological developments.
The research employs a mixed-method approach to engage with different social groups in Anglesey, North Wales, a predominantly rural island where the Wylfa Newydd Nuclear Power Station is proposed to be developed. Quantitative and qualitative techniques are employed to study intra-community social priorities, both generally and development- related, in order to highlight important social sustainability issues for a potential development. The four social groups that participated in this research included two secondary school student groups (YUB and YSTJ Students) and two adult groups (YSTJ Teachers and CTGYM Farmers), reflecting multi- generational representation.
Similarities and differences between groups are highlighted which suggests that engagement with ‘the public’ may be more effective if a strategic, social group and priority-based approach was employed, working with existing social collectives at the local scale. The Social Group Dialogue Strategy is proposed to facilitate this approach. I argue that both engagement and decision-making should reflect the pluralism present within local communities, and thereby enhance the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement and legitimacy of decision-making processes. I also argue that deliberative dialogue focussed on understanding social priorities can facilitate indicator development and effective engagement with local communities. Concepts of fairness and justice, such as procedural justice, are identified and discussed in the context of strategic decision-making, sustainability indicator development and dialogue-based engagement with public stakeholders.

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