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New nuclear power stations – reviewing how to engage with members of the public in reactor design assessments (known as the Generic Design Assessment or GDA)

Sciencewise co-funded project 2014


The purpose of this project is to help the Environment Agency, Office for Nuclear Regulation and Natural Resources Wales better understand the needs of members of the public in relation to engagement in the GDA of new nuclear reactor designs, by engaging in a dialogue with members of the public.

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Impacts & Value

Immediate impacts from Environment Agency dialogue on reactor design assessments of new nuclear power stations - November 2015

Further support from the National Nuclear Laboratory for the public dialogue on the Generic Design Assessment of new nuclear power stations - November 2015

Environment Agency blog recognises value of recent GDA public dialogue
- November 2015

Public dialogue on new nuclear power station design informs the National Nuclear Laboratory understanding of public perceptions of the nuclear industry - October 2015

Implementation plans agreed for the results of the dialogue on public engagement on the Generic Design Assessment of new nuclear power stations. Sciencewise role highly praised. - September 2015

At the time of publishing this report:

•   The project partners have arranged a full day workshop to consider the detailed findings from the public dialogue and decide what they could take forward.

•   Work has begun on developing content to address some of the feedback (e.g. placing ‘GDA’ in the wider context of new nuclear power stations) and exploring the use of different approaches to engaging members of the public.

•   The findings will inform the Environment Agency’s and Natural Resources Wales’ approach to consulting members of the public on Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor in 2016.

•   Plans for sharing the project findings are also being developed.

Project Status

Case study published - March 2016

Evaluation report published - November 2015

Final evaluation of dialogue activities - October 2015

Final evaluation of dialogue activities underway

Public dialogue report published - August 2015

Analysis and report writing - March 2015

What the public said

“I came away thinking I had learned a great deal, I probably already know a fair amount about nuclear reaction, but what struck me was that no one I spoke to since knew anything about nuclear reactors or anything about it.”

Delivered By

The Environment Agency
The Environment Agency is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Natural Resources Wales
NRW is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body.

Office for Nuclear Regulation
ONR was established as a statutory Public Corporation on 1 April 2014.

3KQ deliver professional facilitation, convening and engagement services to help organisations work better with their stakeholders. 3KQ is the dialogue delivery contractor for the project.

Specialise in the design, facilitation, delivery and evaluation of planning and decision making processes which draw people and organisations together. Icarus is the evaluation contractor for the project.