Public Reactions to Nuclear Waste

Citizens’ Views of Repository Siting

Public Reactions to Nuclear Waste

Book Pages: 384 Illustrations: Published: August 1993

Environmental Studies, Politics > Public Policy

Nuclear waste is going nowhere, and neither is the debate over its disposal. The problem, growing every day, has proven intractable, with policymakers on one side, armed with daunting technical data, and the public on the other, declaring: not in my backyard. This timely volume offers a look past our present impasse into the nature and roots of public viewpoints on nuclear waste disposal.
A much-needed supplement to the largely technical literature on this problem, the book provides extensive studies of the reaction of citizens--whether rural or urban, near-site residents or prospective visitors--to proposed nuclear waste sites around the nation, particularly Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Conducted by distinguished sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and economists, these studies constitute the most comprehensive account available of the impact of public perceptions and opinions on the nuclear waste policy process in the United States. As such, the collection will clarify the politics of nuclear waste siting and will give impetus to the stalled debate over the issue.

Contributors. Rodney K. Baxter, Julia G. Brody, Bruce Clary, Lori Cramer, William H. Desvousges, Riley E. Dunlap, Douglas Easterling, Judy K. Fleishman, James Flynn, William R. Freudenburg, Michael E. Kraft, Richard S. Krannich, Howard Kunreuther, Mark Layman, Ronald L. Little, Robert Cameron Mitchell, Alvin H. Mushkatel, Joanne M. Nigg, K. David Pijawka, Eugene A. Rosa, Paul Slovic


“Occasionally a book comes along that is ‘required reading’ in a particular field. [This] is one such book. It contains a variety of essays that provide an in-depth examination of the social and political factors associated with the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. . . . The book will be an invaluable contribution to the resolution of America’s nuclear waste disposal and should be read by all social scientists and policymakers involved in this issue.” — William M. Babiuch , Social Forces

“This groundbreaking collection of essays summarizes the historical, sociological, and psychological context of the was problem and examines public reactions. . . . A landmark contribution to the nuclear debate.” — Kristin Schrader-Frechette, Environment

"Outstanding. This book, which includes some of the most important recent studies of public opinion on nuclear waste, could be extremely important in the nuclear waste debate." — Leroy C. Gould, Florida State University

"This book is unique in providing the most intensive and extensive empirical study of public opinion relating specifically to two proposed waste sites. It pulls together in one volume a variety of high-quality studies, most by well known and respected researchers. The volume will command attention from specialists right away." — Walter A. Rosenbaum, University of Florida


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Price: $29.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Riley Dunlap is Professor of Sociology and Rural Sociology at Washington State University.

Michael E. Kraft is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

Eugene A. Rosa is Professor of Sociology at Washington State University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Figures and Tables

Preface / Riley E. Dunlap, Michael E. Kraft, and Eugene A. Rosa

Part I The Context of Public Concern with Nuclear Waste

1. Public Opinion and Nuclear Waste Policymaking / Michael E. Kraft, Eugene A. Rosa, and Riley E. Dunlap

2. The Historical Development of Public Reactions to Nuclear Power: Implications for Nuclear Waste Policy / Eugene A. Rosa and William R. Freudenburg

3. Perceived Risk, Trust, and Nuclear Waste: Lessons from Yucca Mountain / Paul Slovic, Mark Layman, and James H. Flynn

Part II Public Reactions to Preliminary Sites

4. Public Testimony in Nuclear Waste Repository Hearings: A Content Analysis / Michael E. Kraft and Bruce B. Clary

5. Sources of Public Concern About Nuclear Waste Disposal in Texas Agricultural Communities / Julia G. Brody and Judy K. Fleishman

6. Local Attitudes Toward Siting a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Hanford, Washington / Riley E. Dunlap, Eugene A. Rosa, Rodney K. Baxter, and Robert Cameron Mitchell

Part III Public Reactions to the Yucca Mountain, Nevada Site

7. Perceived Risk and Attitudes Toward Nuclear Wastes: National and Nevada Perspectives / William H. Desvousges, Howard Kunreuther, Paul Slovic, and Eugene A. Rosa

8. The Vulnerability of the Convention Industry to the Siting of a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository / Douglas Easterling and Howard Kunreuther

9. Nevada Urban Residents' Attitudes Toward a Nuclear Waste Repository / Alvin H. Mushkatel, Joanne M. Nigg, and K. David Pijawka

10. Rural Community Residents' Views of Nuclear Waste Repository Siting in Nevada / Richard S. Krannich, Ronald L. Little, and Lori A. Cramer

Part IV Summary and Policy Implications

11. Prospects for Public Acceptance of a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository in the United States: Summary and Implications / Eugene A. Rosa, Riley E. Dunlap, and Michael E. Kraft


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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1373-1 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1355-7
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