David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):301-313 (2012)
Ethical frameworks are often used in professional fields as a means of providing explicit ethical guidance for individuals and institutions when confronted with ethically important decisions. The notion of an ethical framework has received little critical attention, however, and the concept subsequently lends itself easily to misuse and ambiguous application. This is the case with the ‘ethical framework’ offered by Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), the crown-corporation which owns and is responsible for the long-term management of Canada’s high-level nuclear fuel waste. It makes a very specific claim, namely that it is managing Canada’s long-lived radioactive nuclear fuel waste in an ethically responsible manner. According to this organization, what it means to behave in an ethically responsible manner is to act and develop policy in accordance with its ethical framework. What, then, is its ethical framework, and can it be satisfied? In this paper I will show that the NWMO’s ethical and social framework is deeply flawed in two respects: (a) it fails to meet the minimum requirements of a code of ethic or ethical framework by offering only questions, and no principles or rules of conduct; and (b) if posed as principles or rules of conduct, some of its questions are unsatisfiable. In particular, I will show that one of its claims, namely that it seek informed consent from individuals exposed to risk of harm from nuclear waste, cannot be satisfied as formulated. The result is that the NWMO’s ethical framework is not, at present, ethically acceptable
|Keywords||Philosophy Ethics Policy Nuclear waste Informed consent Ethical acceptability Ethical framework|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
K. S. Shrader-Frechette (2002). Risky Business: Nuclear Workers, Ethics, and the Market-Efficiency Argument. Ethics and the Environment 7 (1):1-23.
Kristin Shrader-Frechette (2005). Mortgaging the Future: Dumping Ethics with Nuclear Waste. Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (4):518-520.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alan Marshall (2007). Questioning Nuclear Waste Substitution: A Case Study. Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (1):83-98.
Michael JG Farthing (2006). Authors and Publication Practices. Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (1):41-52.
Mats Andren (2012). An Uncomfortable Responsibility: Ethics and Nuclear Waste. The European Legacy 17 (1):71 - 82.
Kristin Shrader-Frechette (1991). Ethical Dilemmas and Radioactive Waste: A Survey of the Issues. Environmental Ethics 13 (4):327-343.
Thom Brooks (2012). After Fukushima Daiichi: New Global Institutions for Improved Nuclear Power Policy. Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (1):63 - 69.
Kristin Shrader-Frechette (1994). Equity and Nuclear Waste Disposal. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 7 (2):133-156.
Constantine Hadjilambrinos (2000). An Egalitarian Response to Utilitarian Analysis of Long-Lived Pollution: The Case of High-Level Radioactive Waste. Environmental Ethics 22 (1):43-62.
Len Ackland, Karen Dorn Steele & JoAnn M. Valenti (1998). Nuclear Waste, Secrecy and the Mass Media. Science and Engineering Ethics 4 (2):181-190.
Malcom Haase (2012). Emotions and Ethics: A Foucauldian Framework for Becoming an Ethical Educator. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (3):276-288.
Richard Niesche & Malcom Haase (2012). Emotions and Ethics: A Foucauldian Framework for Becoming an Ethical Educator. Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (3):276-288.
Tony Smith, Questioning Globalized Militarism: Nuclear and Military Production and Critical Economic Theory, Peter Custers (Monmouth: Merlin Press, 2007).
Mary Richardson (2000). Scientific and Social Judgments of Safety in the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 19 (1):33-46.
David E. Schrader (2012). Living Together in an Ecological Community. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 7 (18):43-52.
Kristin Sharon Shrader-Frechette (2009). Data Trimming, Nuclear Emissions, and Climate Change. Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (1):19-23.
Added to index2011-02-17
Total downloads8 ( #177,087 of 1,100,147 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #127,215 of 1,100,147 )
How can I increase my downloads?