Who will deal with the inherited nuclear waste of the past generation?

January 8, 2022

Eszter Matyas our doctoral student gave a talk The burden of radioactive waste inherited to the upcoming generations at a December 2021 workshop entitled Nuclear Waste Management and Inter-generational Aspects, organized by Youth and Environment Europe in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union.

Please find the recorded workshop accessible at this link: https://fb.watch/asfki43G_T/

The challenges of nuclear energy are long-lived and inherited to future generations, having significant impacts on the welfare and sustainability of upcoming generations. Particularly, unsolved issues associated with nuclear waste management present a critical necessity for a relationship between decision-makers and the future generation (youth community) – who will deal as well with the inherited nuclear waste of the past generation. The need for intergenerational dialogue on decisions made related to nuclear energy and waste  management is essential to ensure that the rights to sustainable development – to meet their needs – are not denied for upcoming generations.

The focus of the workshop was:

  • What is the task for future generations in dealing with the nuclear waste inherited by past generations?
  • Why is it important to involve the future generation in the issue of nuclear waste management and the nuclear energy debate in general?
  • How could the participation of young people be facilitated in a technical discussion like nuclear waste management?
  • Lessons learned throughout the years for the intergenerational component of nuclear waste management and nuclear energy in general.

Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) is the largest independent European network of environmental youth organizations. YEE unites 42 member organisations coming from 30 countries.

YEE was founded as the European region of the International Youth Federation for Environmental Studies and Conservation (IYF) in 1983. YEE is a member of the United Nations Environment (UNEP), European Environmental Bureau, and European Youth Forum, and a co-founding member of the EU4Ocean Coalition. Our HQ is in Prague, Czech Republic.

All activities and projects of YEE are organised and carried out by young people under 30. YEE organises, facilitates and supports projects and campaigns aiming to increase the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the environment and the awareness of climate issues among young people in Europe. 

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is a German political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party (Alliance 90/The Greens). Its primary task is political education and advocacy in Germany and abroad. Their main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, non-violence and justice. In their work, they place particular emphasis on gender democracy, equal rights for minorities and the political and social participation of migrants.