Round table about civil society involvement in the radioecology and the radiation protection area was organized by Bulgarian Nuclear Society

Bulgarian Nuclear Society organized a round table “Policies in the field of radioecology and radiation protection. Forms and Ways for Civil Society Participation in Governance ”, which was held on 11th September 2020 at the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The event is in the framework of the project No. BG05SFOP001-2.009-0172 “Partnership of citizens with institutions at local, regional and national level for creating and implementing sustainable policies in the field of radioecology and radiation protection of public health”, funded by Operational Program “Good Governance”, co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund.

Two panels were included in the round table. The first one, entitled “Interaction of civil society with institutions on radiology and radiation protection policies” contained a presentation of the objectives and activities of the project, what has been done so far, as well as the presentation “Policies in the field of radioecology and radiation protection of the population. Forms and ways of civil society participation”. The conclusions made of the research and analysis of good practices in international aspect of the interaction between institutions and citizens and their involvement in governance and in making socially significant decisions were presented.

In the second panel, titled “Citizens’ awareness of radioecology and radiation protection and policies”, the participants in the Round Table had the opportunity to get acquainted with the results of the sociological survey, conducted by Global Metrics. These results were presented by Katerina Georgieva from Global Metrics Ltd in the survey report “Information presentation of the results of a survey to establish the level of awareness of citizens on issues related to radiological knowledge, radiation and toxic loads from radioactive sources”.

Providing the audience with quality and adequate content will provoke their interest in the issue of radioecology and radiation protection, the participants in the round table unified around this opinion.

Suggestion for initiating information campaigns, organized by the local authorities in small municipalities, on the issues of radioecology and radiation protection was given during the round table. The examples of good practices were provided by Kozloduy NPP, SE RAW and the Women in Nuclear (WiN).

The need for wider inclusion of the topic about radioecology and radiation protection in the school curriculum was also among the discussed issues. In this regard, the participants expressed their opinion that it is good to have a balanced approach to children, starting with the benefits of radiation, and then to present the measures related to the hazards of using sources of ionizing radiation.

The main commitment for informing the public on the issues of radioecology and radiation protection is of the state institutions, all participants in the round table unified around this statement. Therefore, in order to have effective and working practices, it must be regulated as a state policy.