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Title: Public Preferences Related to Radioactive Waste Management Nuclear Energy and Environment: Methodology and Response Reference Report for the 2014 Energy and Environment Survey

Abstract

The results described in this report are from nationwide surveys between 2006 and 2014 on preferences of US residents concerning the environment and energy sources. The most recent 2014 survey was undertaken to determine how consent, in the context of nuclear facility siting, is understood and evaluated by a cross-section of the American public. Continuing attention to the events at the Fukushima nuclear facility, coupled with its negative implications for public support for nuclear energy, has changed the balance of risk and benefit perceptions, and thus the context in which nuclear facility siting efforts will occur. In addition, the portion of the public most concerned about climate change have typically been those most concerned about the environment in general, and in turn, are those that have traditionally been hostile to nuclear energy. The overall survey results show that the broader public is not well informed about the nuclear fuel cycle including energy production from nuclear reactors and current policies for the management of used nuclear fuel. In addition, the surveys find that respondents are reluctant to continue to rely on temporary on-site storage of used nuclear fuel, and that there is moderate support for developing one or more interim storagemore » facilities. The survey responses also suggest that the level of trust accorded a new nuclear waste authority by the public will be sensitive to how it is institutionally defined. For a hypothetical community, which had volunteered to host an interim storage facility within 50 miles of their homes, the majority of respondents indicated that veto authority in the siting process should be limited to (a) majorities of local and statewide voters, (b) state and federal environmental regulatory authorities, and (c) governors. The respondents also indicated that the state and local host community should be permitted to withdraw consent up to the point at which a license to build the facility is submitted, but not after the license is received and facility construction initiated. The 2013 and 2014 surveys posed a set of questions concerning respondents' expectations about engaging in the process for siting an interim storage facility. Roughly half of the respondents said they would likely attend informational meetings, and nearly half said they would likely communicate with elected officials or would likely express their views on the topic via social media. Relatively few -- about one in five -- said they would be likely to actively participate in support for or opposition of an ISF. Finally, the 2014 results suggest that while respondents are more likely to support a citizen-led deliberative panel process than one led by experts, this preference does not seem to influence their opinion about the expected outcome of the siting process.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5)
OSTI Identifier:
1458853
Report Number(s):
SAND2015-4967
664985; TRN: US1901730
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY

Citation Formats

Herron, Kerry G., Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Silva, Carol L., and Gupta, Kuhika. Public Preferences Related to Radioactive Waste Management Nuclear Energy and Environment: Methodology and Response Reference Report for the 2014 Energy and Environment Survey. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1458853.
Herron, Kerry G., Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Silva, Carol L., & Gupta, Kuhika. Public Preferences Related to Radioactive Waste Management Nuclear Energy and Environment: Methodology and Response Reference Report for the 2014 Energy and Environment Survey. United States. doi:10.2172/1458853.
Herron, Kerry G., Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Silva, Carol L., and Gupta, Kuhika. Mon . "Public Preferences Related to Radioactive Waste Management Nuclear Energy and Environment: Methodology and Response Reference Report for the 2014 Energy and Environment Survey". United States. doi:10.2172/1458853. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1458853.
@article{osti_1458853,
title = {Public Preferences Related to Radioactive Waste Management Nuclear Energy and Environment: Methodology and Response Reference Report for the 2014 Energy and Environment Survey},
author = {Herron, Kerry G. and Jenkins-Smith, Hank C. and Silva, Carol L. and Gupta, Kuhika},
abstractNote = {The results described in this report are from nationwide surveys between 2006 and 2014 on preferences of US residents concerning the environment and energy sources. The most recent 2014 survey was undertaken to determine how consent, in the context of nuclear facility siting, is understood and evaluated by a cross-section of the American public. Continuing attention to the events at the Fukushima nuclear facility, coupled with its negative implications for public support for nuclear energy, has changed the balance of risk and benefit perceptions, and thus the context in which nuclear facility siting efforts will occur. In addition, the portion of the public most concerned about climate change have typically been those most concerned about the environment in general, and in turn, are those that have traditionally been hostile to nuclear energy. The overall survey results show that the broader public is not well informed about the nuclear fuel cycle including energy production from nuclear reactors and current policies for the management of used nuclear fuel. In addition, the surveys find that respondents are reluctant to continue to rely on temporary on-site storage of used nuclear fuel, and that there is moderate support for developing one or more interim storage facilities. The survey responses also suggest that the level of trust accorded a new nuclear waste authority by the public will be sensitive to how it is institutionally defined. For a hypothetical community, which had volunteered to host an interim storage facility within 50 miles of their homes, the majority of respondents indicated that veto authority in the siting process should be limited to (a) majorities of local and statewide voters, (b) state and federal environmental regulatory authorities, and (c) governors. The respondents also indicated that the state and local host community should be permitted to withdraw consent up to the point at which a license to build the facility is submitted, but not after the license is received and facility construction initiated. The 2013 and 2014 surveys posed a set of questions concerning respondents' expectations about engaging in the process for siting an interim storage facility. Roughly half of the respondents said they would likely attend informational meetings, and nearly half said they would likely communicate with elected officials or would likely express their views on the topic via social media. Relatively few -- about one in five -- said they would be likely to actively participate in support for or opposition of an ISF. Finally, the 2014 results suggest that while respondents are more likely to support a citizen-led deliberative panel process than one led by experts, this preference does not seem to influence their opinion about the expected outcome of the siting process.},
doi = {10.2172/1458853},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {6}
}