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AuthorShrader-Frechette, K. S. author
TitleNuclear Power and Public Policy [electronic resource] : The Social and Ethical Problems of Fission Technology / by K. S. Shrader-Frechette
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1980
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Descript 198 p. online resource


This book grew out of projects funded by the Kentucky Humanยญ ities Council in 1974 and. 1975 and by the Environmental Protecยญ tion Agency in 1976 and 1977. As a result of the generosity of these two agencies, I was able to study the logical, methodological, and ethical assumptions inherent in the decision to utilize nuclear fission for generating electricity. Since both grants gave me the opportunity to survey public policy-making, I discovered that there were critical lacunae in allegedly comprehensive analyses of various energy technologies. Ever since this discovery, one of my goals has been to fill one of these gaps by writing a well-docuยญ mented study of some neglected social and ethical questions regarding nuclear power. Although many assessments of atomic energy written by enยญ vironmentalists are highly persuasive, they often also are overly emotive and question-begging. Sometimes they employ what seem to be correct ethical conclusions, but they do so largely in an inยญ tuitive, rather than a closely-reasoned, manner. On the other hand, books and reports written by nuclear proponents, often Under government contract, almost always ignore the social and ethical aspects of energy decision-making; they focus instead only on a purely scientific assessment of fission generation of electricity. What the energy debate needs, I believe, are more studies which aim at ethical analysis and which avoid unsubstantiated assertions. I hope that these essays are steps in that direction


One: Nuclear Technology -- 1. The History of Nuclear Energy -- 2. Government Regulation of Atomic Power -- 3. Fission Generation of Electricity -- 4. Ethical Problems Raised by Nuclear Technology -- Notes -- Two: Reactor Emissions and Equal Protection -- 1. The Controversy over Low-Level Radiation -- 2. Federal Radiation Standards -- 3. Ethical Problems of Radiation Policy -- 4. Conclusion -- Notes -- Three: Nuclear Wastes and the Argument from Ignorance -- 1. The Social and Economic Costs of Storing Radioactive Wastes -- 2. Philosophical Errors in Analyses of the Waste Problem -- 3. Conclusion -- Notes -- Four: Core Melt Catastrophe and Due Process -- 1. The Price-Anderson Act -- 2. Philosophical Difficulties in the Price-Anderson Act -- 3. Conclusion -- Notes -- Five: Nuclear Economics and the Problem of Externalities -- 1. The Problem of Externalities -- 2. Partially-Compensated Externalities of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle -- 3. The Consequences of the Failure To Compensate -- 4. The Consequences of Recognizing Amenity Rights -- 5. Conclusion -- Notes -- Six: Nuclear Safety and the Naturalistic Fallacy -- 1. The Naturalistic Fallacy -- 2. Commissions of the Fallacy in Government Studies of Nuclear Power -- 3. The Consequences to Public Policy -- 4. New Directions for Technology and Public Policy -- Notes -- Name Index

Philosophy Philosophy and science Philosophy Philosophy of Science


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