Skip to main content

"Nuclear power makes individualists see green."

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale University Law School has just completed a new study entitled, Making Sense of - and Making Progress In - the American Culture War of Fact. Among the topics addressed in the study was public acceptance of nuclear energy, and some of the findings like this one caught my eye ...
"Cultural individualists who are told that nuclear power will reduce greenhouse gas emissions are more likely to accept that global warming is caused by humans and is a serious threat than those who are told that restrictive anti-pollution regulations are necessary," said [Dan] Kahan [Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

"The reason is that anti-pollution regulations threaten the values of people who like commerce, whereas nuclear power strikes those same people as a good idea."

Said Kahan, "Nuclear power makes individualists see green."
Sounds like something we've been saying for quite a while now. To download the entire paper, click here.

Comments

GRLCowan said…
Collectivists seem to be a dog that is wagged by its oil- and gas-tax-collecting tail; or anyway, the tail says it still can wag the dog, just as the similarly fossil fuel beholden part of the individualist electorate said none of its electors believed in man-caused global warming.

Now they seem to be saying its electors don't believe man is causing global warming, and one should not be deceived on this point by recent election results. Desperate mendacity, in both parallel cases, I think.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…