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WP 4. Social Impacts

WP 3 and WP 4 were interrelated. WP 4 focused on the assessment of social effects and effects on tourism based on the results of the accident scenarios in WP 3.

WP 4 was divided into two parts: assessment of social effects on local level (everyday routines or e.g. reindeer farming) and assessment of impacts on tourism (e.g. image issues). The opinions of experts were used when assessing the magnitudes of the effects and the vulnerability of target sites on local level and on tourism.

Pöyry Finland Oy led WP 4. The activities and results included

  1. Baseline studies of the research area were done in the beginning of the project, when the socio-economic structure, local perspective and tourism were investigated. The goal was to understand the current socio-economic structure and key elements of tourism in the Euro-Arctic region.
  2. Research cases assessment was done as a literature review, where studied were social impact assessment of disasters and crises, impact assessment methods and disaster management. It was found that there were only a few studies related to the social perspectives of nuclear safety.
  3. Impacts assessment was done with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), where the facts about the effects of the alternatives are compared with the views of stakeholders about the importance of the objectives. In the CEEPRA project, MCDA was applied as a tool for assessing the significance of radioactive contamination from possible nuclear accidents to the population groups and livelihoods in the area. Conducted were also small group interviews and personal interviews where the views of experts of tourism sector as well as of other experts were collected.
  4. After compiling all relevant data, the Social Impact Assessment team of Pöyry assessed the effects of possible accidents on local level and on tourism. Utilized were also the recommendations compiled by STUK for countermeasures in different stages of radiation accidents. The results were presented in the public seminar in Oulu on 27 November 2013. Some of the most important observations were that accidents causing radioactive contamination would weaken remarkably the image of Lapland as pure and safe region, and that the effects of such an accident on people’s views would be much greater and last longer than the actual physical effects.
  5. Based on the risk analyses and impact assessments, recommendations and proposals were compiled of how to reduce social risks, fear and concerns related to nuclear accidents. Important would be e.g. to deliver understandable, reliable and on-time information in cases of accidents.
  6. The results of WP4 were utilized in the Master’s Thesis of M. Nissi (Nissi, M: Lapin matkailun haavoittuvuus hypoteettisen ydinonnettomuuden seurauksena – Vaikutukset Lapin matkailuun sekä mahdolliset ennakointi- ja sopeutumiskeinot; published only in Finnish). Besides, a separate report was written where described were the MCDA analysis, results and conclusions as well as the proposals and recommendations for reducing risks and fear.