Fairness, risk and risk tolerance in the siting of a nuclear waste repository

Lennart Sjöberg, Britt-Marie Drottz-Sjöberg
2001 Journal of Risk Research  
In this paper, risk tolerance with regard to nuclear waste is investigated. It is shown that Swedish respondents did not readily accept a local high-level nuclear waste repository, contrary to claims based on polling data. The important role played in Sweden by misleading survey questions is pointed out and demonstrated on empirical data where formulations and procedures are varied. The acceptance of a local repository (measured as intention to vote in its favour in a local referendum) could
more » ... be explained well by a cost-bene t approach, neither by an individual risk perception model. Concern about the local community was an important determinant, however, and so were moral aspects. When these aspects were included in a model, about 60% of the variance of risk perception and risk acceptance was accounted for. Cultural Theory scale items, however, added virtually nothing to the explanatory power of the models. In further analyses, NIMBY respondents were identi ed, de ned here as people who rejected a local repository in spite of having acknowledged substantial utility of nuclear power. NlMBYs constituted, however, only a small minority of all opposition to a local repository. Few respondents stated that they would accept a local repository if they were to be given nancial compensation. This fact may be related to nuclear power issues being conceived as general, rather than personal, matters. Those who saw it as a politically important issue also conceived of it in general rather than personal terms.
doi:10.1080/136698701456040 fatcat:bhvjovb26zgpriqnare3mjlndu