PLATENSO: Building a platform for enhanced societal research related to nuclear energy in Central and Eastern Europe
The objective of PLATENSO was to provide a proposal towards establishing the legal base for a European Entity on Socio-Economic matters linked to nuclear technology and to develop recommendations for research strategies in PLATENSO countries. Through this, the capabilities of research institutes in Central and Eastern European countries to take part in EU research with respect to governance, social and societal aspects was enhanced.
Project Dates: 01/09/2013 – 31/08/2016
Project Status: Finished
Project Website: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/110202/factsheet/en
PLATENSO was a three-year project which was part of an EU initiative to help enhance the capabilities of Central and Eastern European (CEE) research institutions to participate in research on governance, social and societal aspects of nuclear energy. The project aimed to develop a proposal to establish a platform to promote social sciences and humanities into nuclear energy research. For this, national networks between research institutions collaborating in PLATENSO and beyond the project were set up to bring together the capabilities, knowledge and expertise from diverse groups interested in research collaboration in Euratom FP projects. The contribution of PLATENSO to establishing research networks in New Member States was also realised through networking events at the European level and the development of the Virtual Information Centre for sharing information and contacts.
Initially, lessons learned from earlier projects on the state of knowledge in societal, social and governance issues were reviewed and summarised. The research infrastructures within which project activities and future research are to take place were mapped and efforts were made to make sure research actors frame their approaches broadly enough. Research strategies were formed for research in governance, social and societal issues in which participation in EU programmes is an integrated part. The strategies were tested with case studies to make sure they were feasible to implement. A number of networking activities were carried through as a major step toward actual foundation of the strategies in PLATENSO countries. In each country, a PLATENSO partner took responsibility for building a network of research institutions in its respective country.
Establishment of the legal base for a European Entity on Socio-Economic matters linked to nuclear technology has potential to overcome the barriers that still exist for taking them fully into account and to make the awareness of the social and political challenges to come to action. On the basis of exploratory studies focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and contacts with relevant stakeholders in all EU, the project analysed main aspects with regard to the implementation of the entity (organization, legal form, communication structure, content, etc.). Major areas on social, societal and governance issues for the envisaged Entity were proposed.
A nuclear energy scenario based on the Generation 4 ALLEGRO reactor concept was given special attention as a pilot case for the European Entity giving support to ALLEGRO in social, societal and governance issues, which included testing the draft strategy for research. The exact forms for this were developed in close cooperation between PLATENSO and the ALLIANCE project.
The overall aim of PLATENSO was to enhance the capabilities of research institutions in Central and Eastern European countries to take part in EU research with respect to governance, social and societal aspects of nuclear energy. PLATENSO had higher ambitions than merely bringing together those countries lagging behind in their involvement in Euratom FP research and bringing them up to the same level of other countries. The ultimate aim was to develop a proposal towards establishing a legal base for a Social Platform linked to nuclear technology and to develop recommendations for research strategies in New Member States. On the basis of exploratory studies focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and contact with relevant stakeholders in all EU, the project proposed the main aspects regarding the implementation of such a platform.
Objectives to achieve these primary aims were to:
- Set up national networks between research institutions collaborating in PLATENSO and involving different types of stakeholders (research organisations, national authorities, local authorities, NGOs, individuals, etc) that may also have a role in research and development;
- Develop a broad framing for research on social, societal and governance matters with reference to the nuclear energy lifecycle, taking possible scenarios for nuclear energy development and the related social challenges into account;
- Propose major areas of social, societal and governance issues for the envisaged Social Platform and for future research in PLATENSO countries.