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Evaluating the 'Ethical Matrix' as a Radioactive Waste Management Deliberative Decision-Support Tool


  • Matthew Cotton


UK radioactive waste management policy making is currently taking place within a participatory and analytic-deliberative decision-making framework; one that seeks to integrate public and stakeholder values and perspectives with scientific and technical expertise. One important aspect of this socio-technical reframing of the radioactive waste problem is an explicit recognition that legitimate and defensible policy making must take into account important ethical issues if it is to be a success. Thus, there is a need for tools to incorporate adequate assessment of ethical issues in a way that is compatible with this approach. The 'ethical matrix' is one such tool used recently to address a range of agricultural and natural resource issues that shows promise for this field. This paper assesses the strengths and limitations of the matrix and outlines a framework for the development of alternative tools to better satisfy the needs of ethical assessment in radioactive waste management decision-making processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Cotton, 2009. "Evaluating the 'Ethical Matrix' as a Radioactive Waste Management Deliberative Decision-Support Tool," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 18(2), pages 153-176, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev18:ev1807

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    More about this item


    Radioactive waste management; analytic-deliberative methods; public and stakeholder engagement; ethical tools; ethical matrix;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects


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