Nuclear Waste Management: Building a Foundation to Enhance Trust

  • Michael R. Greenberg
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 2)


The primary challenges to the DOE, NRC, EPA, and contractors responsible for managing the defense and commercial nuclear waste legacies are technology and high cost. Yet given the long period that the waste must be stewarded, the responsible parties must invest in short-term and long-run programs to build mutually beneficial stable relationships that are able to withstand the stresses of technical mishaps and human disagreements and endure for many generations. This chapter suggests five key steps in light of the Fukushima events:
  1. 1.

    Do not shoot the messenger. Fear needs to be acknowledged, not dismissed as irrational.

  2. 2.

    If the audience wants to understand what happened in Japan, or in other incidents involving nuclear facilities, then engage in a discussion if you feel competent to do so, or try to find someone who can.

  3. 3.

    People want the responsible parties to demonstrate ability to protect them, and prove through these actions that safety is the highest priority now and in the future.

  4. 4.

    The public wants promises about definitive steps to improve safety, efficiency, and other metrics of competence; they want to know what communications will keep them or their representatives in the loop; and they want to be sure that the safety is not going to be sacrificed.

  5. 5.

    Follow-through with promised actions. Trying to change public opinion with words not matched by deeds will erode, perhaps even poison, what could be a productive ongoing organizational relationship.


More detail is provided in the body of the chapter.


Waste Management Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Waste Public Opinion Polling Loan Guarantee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Greenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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