Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Carnegie Mellon Students Evaluate Ways To Empower Communities To Manage Local Nuclear Plant Risks

To address the great differences in information availability from plant to plant, the team recommends that the nuclear industry develop voluntary standards for the online presentation of safety information relevant to communities around nuclear power plants. Others in the project reviewed petitions and public comments that citizens had filed since 2000 with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the governing body of the nuclear power industry. They found that many of the concerns that citizens express about local nuclear facilities go unaddressed because they are judged to lie outside the agency's purview or to contain insufficient evidence for action. "I think we were all surprised by the limited response from government officials to certain kinds of concerns from people living near nuclear sites," said Rusty Sewell, a senior majoring in social and decision sciences. The report recommends that the agency consider assigning staff to help citizens frame their formal comments in ways that are more likely to result in their voices being heard.
Carnegie Mellon

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