Exploring Implicit Dimensions Underlying Risk Perception of Waste from Mining and Milling of Uranium Ores in France
Guillaume B , Charron S,
IRPA-10: 10. international congress of the International Radiation Protection Association Hiroshima (Japan) 14-19 May 2000, P-10-176
Understanding public perceptions of risks is considered increasingly to be important in order to make sound policy decisions. For many years, social scientists have been working to understand why the public is so concerned about nuclear energy and radioactive waste. As a result, there is now a fair understanding of the factorswhat determininges public support andor opposition to high-level nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities.
To date, however, little of this research has concerned radioactive waste from mining and millning of uranium ore. The legal status of this waste is debated Iin Francesuch waste have a much debated legal status, becausewhich illustrates their the ambiguous origin of the waste (natural versus artificial) supports varied manner peopleperceptions of it them. It is Ttherefore useful, it seems relevant to explore the individual judgements, attitudes, and beliefs towards the risks associated with uranium mill tailings.
After a short presentation of the theoretical bases of this research and of our integrated approach, we will explore the implicit dimensions (psychological, cultural, and moral) that underlieying therisk perception of risk of in the case of French uranium mill tailings in France. The next section suggests a structural model based on both the identification and analysis of thesesuch dimensions. Indeed, tThe relationships inferred from between identified risk characteristics and contextual risk perception suggest that five major axes (time, space, nature, ethics, and trust) togetherbuild orientateants of people's perception of the risk related to waste from mining and millning of uranium ore. The final section contains a few closing comments on using this conceptual model to develop an interview grid designed for semi-structured interviews in French uranium bearing bearing areas, in order to elicit, beyond public attitudes, real local demands.
This work was done in collaboration with Ecole Normale Supérieure (GRID) , Cachan, France.