RICOMET presented at last session at NORMX by SHARE vice-president Dr. Tanja Perko


The 8th RICOMET Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities in Ionising Radiation Research was organised this year in parallel with NORM X sessions from 10-12 May 2022 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. RICOMET 2022 was the first face-to-face conference we have had since 2019 and it was great to meet all our brilliant colleagues in person, familiar and new!

Presentations are now available at: Access here

The opening session on ‘nuclear facilities in armed conflicts’ moderated by SHARE’s president Susan Molyneux-Hodgson and CERAD director Deborah Oughton discussed the research and policy challenges that war in Ukraine has presented. Big thanks to our specially invited speakers Miroslav Gregoric(Slovenia) and Sergii Mirnyi (Ukraine). Other sessions of day one focused on societal aspects of radon and NORM. We learned about the status of the radon action plans in European Member States Robbe Geysmans and how to access their effectiveness Meritxell Martell, about the methodological lessons for evaluation of public attitudes and behaviours Melisa Muric and design thinking as a research method in the context of radon communication Sofie Apers, about communication frames of European radon spa websites Robbe Geysmans, social perceptions for radon in Germany Christiane Pölzl-Viol and an inventory of approaches for management of radon in France Cynthia REAUD. We finalised the day with talks on what researchers engaging with risk communication and stakeholder involvement in relation to NORM-containing residues might learn from other fields of radiological protection Yevgeniya Tomkiv 🇺🇦, on exploratory focus groups with residents of the high radon prone areas in Ireland (David Hevey) and on using Fukushima memories and realities to develop teaching material for schools (Joke Kenens).

Second day of was fully dedicated to decommissioning. We opened with an introduction to societal challenges in the decommissioning projects and highlighting the importance of communication and stakeholder engagement Tanja Perko. This introduction was followed by talks on managing social challenges in the nuclear decommissioning industry Diletta Invernizzi, Ph.D., overview of the communication experiences in the past decommissioning projects Michele Laraia and uncertainty communication and public participation in decision-making related to decommissioning Ferdiana Hoti. Second session included speakers from the past and ongoing decommissioning sites in UK and Sweden sharing their practical experience. Big thanks to Philip Matthews, Nia Swann Bowden and Carl Sommerholt. Finally, Meritxell Martellshared the experiences of the group of European Municipalities with Nuclear Facilities (GMF Europe). Second half of the day was dedicated to a participatory workshop to recognise challenges and good practices for communication and stakeholder involvement with focus on internal and external communication and local stakeholders.

Final day included presentations from Joke Kenens presented on post-Fukushima (non-)interactions between local governments and citizen radiation measurement organisations, Louise Elstow talked about the value of radiation’s numbers in Japan, Gaston Meskens highlighted the importance of responsible generation and use of science as policy advice and Ferdiana Hoti presented her research on uncertainty communication and public participation in decision-making related to decommissioning of nuclear installations.Meritxell Martell  reviewed the past and existing citizen science projects in radon research,  Caroline SCHIEBER the upcoming citizen science projects for radon remediation and Ana Rita Melo, PhD the radiation risk perception during uranium mining, decommissioning and remediation. Final session of day 3 included talks by Nazanin Love and her research on marketing and societal challenges of using NORM-contaminated by-products in building materials and Lina de Vieira with her presentation about anxiety in patients that undergo PET/CT scans.

This year at RICOMET we introduced the SHARE awards that were given to the most outstanding Social Science and Humanities researchers of the conference under three categories: Methodological approach, Societal impact and Development of theoretical framework. Our congratulation to Sofie Apers, Joke Kenens and Louise Elstow!!!