To recycle or not to recycle? An intergenerational approach to nuclear fuel cycles

Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (2):177-200 (2008)
Abstract
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-007-9049-y
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,205
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Pure Intergenerational Problem.Stephen M. Gardiner - 2003 - The Monist 86 (3):481-500.
What Do We Owe the Next Generation(S)?Axel Gosseries - 2001 - Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 35 (1):293-354.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nuclear Energy as a Social Experiment.Ibo van de Poel - 2011 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (3):285 - 290.
Reversible Experiments: Putting Geological Disposal to the Test.Jan Peter Bergen - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (3):707-733.
The Morally Desirable Option for Nuclear Power Production.Behnam Taebi - 2011 - Philosophy and Technology 24 (2):169-192.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

22 ( #223,196 of 2,154,092 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #398,005 of 2,154,092 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums