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Voluntary Siting and Equity: The MRS Facility Experience in Native America

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Abstract:

This article focuses on aspects of intragenerational and intergenerational equity in the context of a unique policy experiment: the effort of the U.S. government to site a monitored, retrievable storage (MRS) facility for high-level civilian nuclear waste. This process and its outcomes are examined from both normative and subjective perspectives. While the MRS siting process was designed to be equitable, its eventual focus on Native American communities raises profound questions about environmental justice, as well as procedural, outcome, and intergenerational equity in cross-cultural contexts. The diverse reactions among Native American tribes demonstrate that translating theoretical concepts of equity into practice is an extraordinarily complex exercise. The MRS siting process, instead of being a bold policy experiment that promoted equity, emerges substantially flawed after its implementation in the Native American context.

Keywords: Equity; MRS; Native American; nuclear waste; voluntary siting

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0272-4332.206084

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, India., 2: Center for the Study of Social Issues, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, NC.

Publication date: December 1, 2000

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