David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (2):177-200 (2008)
This paper approaches the choice between the open and closed nuclear fuel cycles as a matter of intergenerational justice, by revealing the value conflicts in the production of nuclear energy. The closed fuel cycle improve sustainability in terms of the supply certainty of uranium and involves less long-term radiological risks and proliferation concerns. However, it compromises short-term public health and safety and security, due to the separation of plutonium. The trade-offs in nuclear energy are reducible to a chief trade-off between the present and the future. To what extent should we take care of our produced nuclear waste and to what extent should we accept additional risks to the present generation, in order to diminish the exposure of future generation to those risks? The advocates of the open fuel cycle should explain why they are willing to transfer all the risks for a very long period of time (200,000 years) to future generations. In addition, supporters of the closed fuel cycle should underpin their acceptance of additional risks to the present generation and make the actual reduction of risk to the future plausible.
|Keywords||Intergenerational justice Nuclear waste management Reprocessing Recycling Future generations Value conflicts Sustainability|
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (1971/2005). A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press.
Avner De-Shalit (1995). Why Posterity Matters: Environmental Policies and Future Generations. Routledge.
Brian Barry (1999). Sustainable and Intergenerational Justice. In Andrew Dobson (ed.), Fairness and Futurity: Essays on Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. OUP Oxford
Stephen M. Gardiner (2003). The Pure Intergenerational Problem. The Monist 86 (3):481-500.
Citations of this work BETA
Ibo van de Poel (2011). Nuclear Energy as a Social Experiment. Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (3):285 - 290.
Jan Peter Bergen (forthcoming). Reversible Experiments: Putting Geological Disposal to the Test. Science and Engineering Ethics.
Behnam Taebi (2012). Multinational Nuclear Waste Repositories and Their Complex Issues of Justice. Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (1):57 - 62.
Ilse Oosterlaken (2015). Applying Value Sensitive Design to Wind Turbines and Wind Parks: An Exploration. Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (2):359-379.
Behnam Taebi (2011). The Morally Desirable Option for Nuclear Power Production. Philosophy and Technology 24 (2):169-192.
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