From: Editor, Science Daily
Published June 14, 2011 07:39 AM

The Energy Debate: Coal Vs. Nuclear

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2011) — As America struggles down the road toward a coherent energy policy that focuses on a higher degree of self-reliance, policymakers face numerous issues and realities. These include: the finite supply and environmental impact of fossil fuels, the feasibility and costs to implement a widespread switch to renewable energy sources, and the variables that lead to consumers' preferences for particular types of power generation.

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They also need to find and employ tools to effectively communicate such a policy to a range of constituencies.

When it comes to traditional energy sources, coal, with its attendant air pollution and link to global warming, and nuclear power, with the potential for radiation-spewing accidents, such as befell Japan's Fukushima's Nuclear Power Plant, remain two of the most controversial.

Professor Michael Greenberg, who studies environmental health at Rutgers' Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Heather Barnes Truelove, a postdoctoral fellow at the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment have researched consumers' attitudes toward these two energy sources. Both are members of the Consortium for Risk, Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP). Their recent article in the journal Risk Analysis examines Americans' risk beliefs and preferences for coal and nuclear energy, and finds factors other than global warming and the potential for nuclear power plant accidents figure into their choices.

Article continues: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613142215.htm

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