Researchers in Finland have found that acceptance of the site of a spent nuclear fuel repository can depend on gender and economic background. Writing in the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, the team reports that affluent men more often have a positive opinion on the location of such facilities than women or disadvantaged people.
While the actual quantities of nuclear waste around the globe are relatively small, the disposal or storage of such materials remains a controversial and sensitive issue and one that is likely to grow if more nuclear power plants are built. Matti Kojo of the University of Tampere and Mika Kari and Tapio Litmanen of the University of Jyvskyl have recently canvassed and analyzed local opinion on the siting of a nuclear waste repository in the municipality of Eurajoki, Finland. They have demonstrated what they refer to as a "white male effect" associated with acceptance of such facilities close to a residential area.
"In many countries, the communities that have been more willing to consider acting as hosts for nuclear waste management facility projects are in fact those that already have a nuclear installation or installations within their territory," the team explains. "These communities are usually described as 'nuclear communities' or 'nuclear oases'. Another term associated with such communities is 'industry awareness'.
The team says that the term "nuclear oasis", which gives negative connotations to the host municipality, emphasizes unequal power relations and the dependency of a host municipality, whereas the "industry awareness" interpretation attempts to offer a much more positive approach. In this latter phrase, the municipality is not seen simply as a dump for nuclear waste but has what is often referred to as "ownership" of this modern problem. Indeed, in the case of the Eurajoki, where the repository is still under construction but the plans for which have been expan
|Contact: Matti Kojo|