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Environmental Ethics

Volume 13, Issue 4, Winter 1991

Kristin Shrader-Frechette
Pages 327-343

Ethical Dilemmas and Radioactive Waste
A Survey of the Issues

The accidents at Three Mile Island and Chemobyl have slowed the development of commercial nuclear fission in most industrialized countries , although nuclear proponents are trying to develop smaller, allegedly “fail-safe” reactors. Regardless of whether or not they succeed, we will face the problem of radioactive wastes for the next million years. After a brief, “revisionist” history of the radwaste problem, I survey some of the major epistemological and ethical difficulties with storing nuclear wastes and outline four ethical dilemmas common to many technological and environmental controversies. I suggest two solutions to these ethical dilemmas and show why they are also economical and realistic proposals.