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Fair rules for siting a high-level nuclear waste repository


  • Douglas Easterling


Geologic repositories are designed to resolve the ever-growing problem of high-level nuclear waste, but these facilities invite intense local opposition due to the perceived severity of the risks and the possibility of stigma effects. This analysis examines whether the perceived fairness of the siting process affects local residents' support for hosting a repository. In particular, a survey of 1001 Nevada residents is used to test the hypothesis that an individual's willingness to accept a local repository will increase if he or she is convinced that this is the safest disposal option available. A logistic analysis indicates that beliefs regarding relative suitability have an independent effect on the acceptability of a local repository (i.e., Yucca Mountain). The article then considers the question of how to implement an optimizing strategy for siting facilities, comparing an idealized strategy against the original Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982 and the Amendments Act of 1987. Although choosing the safest site seems as if it could enhance public acceptance of the repository program, there is currently little prospect of identifying the best option to the high-level waste problem and, as a result, little chance of gaining the public support that is necessary to promote a successful siting outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Easterling, 1992. "Fair rules for siting a high-level nuclear waste repository," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 442-475.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:11:y:1992:i:3:p:442-475
    DOI: 10.2307/3325071

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary L. Downey, 1985. "Federalism and nuclear waste disposal: The struggle over shared decision making," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 73-99.
    2. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard O. Zerbe, 2013. "Ethical benefit–cost analysis as art and science: ten rules for benefit–cost analysis," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 8, pages 264-293 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Laurent-Lucchetti, Jérémy & Leroux, Justin, 2011. "Choosing and sharing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 296-300, September.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 1996. "Fair siting procedures: An empirical analysis of their importance and characteristics," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 353-376.
    4. Goldfarb, Jillian L. & Buessing, Marric & Kriner, Douglas L., 2016. "Geographic proximity to coal plants and U.S. public support for extending the Production Tax Credit," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 299-307.
    5. Dietz, Simon & Morton, Alec, 2011. "Strategic appraisal of environmental risks: a contrast between the United Kingdom's Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and its Committee on Radioactive Waste Management," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31890, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Simon Dietz & Alec Morton, 2009. "Strategic appraisal of environmental risks: a contrast between the UK�s Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and its Committee on Radioactive Waste Management," GRI Working Papers 5, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    7. Douglas Easterling, 1993. "Informational Approaches to Regulation, by Wesley Magat and W. Kip Viscusi. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992, 371 pp. Price: $32.50 cloth," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 795-801.
    8. Howard Kunreuther & Doug Easterling, 1996. "The role of compensation in siting hazardous facilities," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 601-622.
    9. Wolsink, Maarten, 2000. "Wind power and the NIMBY-myth: institutional capacity and the limited significance of public support," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 49-64.

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