Environmental Risk and the Iron Triangle: The Case of Yucca Mountain

Business Ethics Quarterly 5 (4):753-777 (1995)

Authors
Kristin Shrader-Frechette
University of Notre Dame
Abstract
Despite significant scientific uncertainties and strong public opposition, there appears to be an “iron triangle” of industry, government,and consultants/contractors promoting the siting of the world’s first permanent geological repository for high-level nuclear waste and spent fuel, proposed for Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Arguing that representatives of this iron triangle have ignored important epistemological and ethical difficulties with the proposed facility, I conclude that the business climate surrounding this triangle appears to leave little room for consideration of ethical issues related to public safety, environmental welfare, and citizen consent to risk. If my analysis of the Yucca Mountain case is correct and typical, then some of themost pressing questions of business ethics may concern how to break the iron triangle or, at least, how to expand it into a quadrilateral that includes the public
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.2307/3857413
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