Publication Laka-library:
The ethics of nuclear power: Social experiments, intergenerational justice,and emotions

AuthorB.Taebi, S.Roeser, I. vd Poel, TU Delft
DateSeptember 2012
Classification (GENERAL)

From the publication:

The ethics of nuclear power: Social experiments, intergenerational justice,
and emotions
Behnam Taebi, Sabine Roeser, Ibo van de Poel
Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management,
Delft University of Technology

Article history:
Received 18 August 2011
Accepted 3 September 2012
Available online 28 September 2012

a b s t r a c t
In this paper we argue that traditional approaches to risk assessment should 
be supplemented by an explicit discussion of the moral acceptability of 
nuclear technology and the risks it poses. The introduction of nuclear energy 
in society should be seen as an ongoing social experiment, whose (moral) 
acceptability should continuously be addressed. Given the long-term risks of 
nuclear energy, intergenerational justice should be explicitly included in 
such an analysis. This will also have implications for nuclear power policies. 
Furthermore, emotions such as sympathy and feelings of responsibility can 
provide moral insights; they should be taken seriously in the debate about 
nuclear energy rather than being dismissed as irrational distractions as 
is currently the case. These proposed reforms would help society to move 
beyond the usual stale mate in the debate about nuclear power.