The Dilemma of Siting a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository

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Springer Science & Business Media, May 31, 1995 - Business & Economics - 286 pages
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This book explores siting dilemmas - situations in which an "authority" (e.g., Congress, a consortium of utilities) deems it in the best interest of society to build a facility such as an incinerator, but opponents living near the proposed site thwart the plan. Facility developers typically attribute local opposition to selfishness or radically inaccurate views of the risks posed by the facility. We examine the validity of these conclusions by looking in depth at the psychological response that arises when residents are faced with the prospect of living near waste disposal facilities. The particular siting dilemma considered in this book is the problem of how to "dispose" of the high-level nuclear wastes accumulating at nuclear power plants in the United States. These wastes, in the form of "spent" fuel rods, will emit dangerous levels of radioactivity for thousands of years - anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 years, depending on the margin of safety one adopts. The current proposal is to encase the spent fuel in corrosion-resistant canisters and then to bury these canisters deep underground in a geologic repository. The two of us became involved with the high-level waste issue in 1986 as part of an interdisciplinary research team hired by the State of Nevada. The charge of this team was to estimate the socioeconomic impacts that would accompany a repository if it were built at Yucca Mountain, approximately 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
Siting a HighLevel Waste Repository
19
Siting a Monitored Retrievable MRS Storage Facility
69
PUBLIC OPPOSITION TO A REPOSITORY
81
Managing Local Opposition
83
Analysis of Public Opposition
95
Public Perceptions of the Proposed Repository
123
The Doughnut Effect
153
STRATEGIES FOR SITING A WASTE FACILITY
165
A Siting Process to Gain Public Acceptance
167
Analysis of US Policy for Managing HighLevel Waste
193
Next Steps for HLNW Policy
227
REFERENCES
241
APPENDIX
265
INDEX
273
Copyright

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Page 251 - Kunreuther, Howard and Douglas Easterling (1992), "Gaining Acceptance for Noxious Facilities with Economic Incentives," in Daniel Bromley and Kathleen Segerson (eds.), The Social Response to Environmental Risk (Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers). Kunreuther, Howard, Douglas V. Easterling, William Desvousges, and Paul Slovic (1990), "Public Attitudes Toward Siting a High Level Nuclear Waste Repository in Nevada,

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About the author (1995)

Howard Kunreuther is the James G. Dinan Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. He has a long-standing interest in ways that society can better manage low-probability, high-consequence events. Dr Kunreuther is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Insurance and Asset Management for 2011 2012 and in 2009 2010 served as co-chair of the Forum's Global Agenda Council on Leadership and Innovation for Reducing Risks from Natural Disasters. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, which honored him with a Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001.

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