Public Attitudes Toward a High-Level Nuclear Repository: Implications on the Prospects of Successful Siting

by D. Easterling, Whaton Sch, United States,
H. Kunreuther, Whaton Sch, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


Recent legislation enacted by the State of Nevada makes it illegal to store high-level nuclear waste (HLNW) within state, posing a serious threat to the federal government's plan to site the nation's first HLNW repository at Yucca Mountain. The current paper examines the underlying dynamics of the current political situation in addressing the following two questions: 1) What is the source of repository opposition among Nevadans? 2) What policy tools may be effective in addressing the public's concerns regarding a repository? To answer these, the authors analyze data from two public opinion surveys to identify the factors that determine whether or not individuals will vote in favor of a repository in their vicinity. They examine three specific sets of factors: 1) safety, 2) suitability of the technology and site, and 3) economic incentives.

Subject Headings: Public opinions | Federal government | Economic factors | Waste sites | Radioactive wastes | Waste storage | Public health and safety | Surveys (non-geomatic) | Nevada | United States

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