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Journal Article

Citation

Rossin AD. Am. Behav. Sci. 2003; 46(6): 812-821.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2003, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0002764202239176

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

This article tries to determine the political payoffs of marketing nuclear fear. Three subjects are selected for analysis: radiation, plutonium, and nuclear waste disposal. Predicted dangers of low-level radiation use a concept called "collective dose"; however, collective dose is not a predictor of radiation health or injury, let alone cancer or death. Plutonium, commonly referred to as "the most toxic element known to man," is the material nations manufacture for nuclear weapons. It is also the inevitable by-product of nuclear power production and incites public fears of nuclear weapons proliferation and dangers of underground disposal. Finally, the article looks at nuclear waste disposal--Can it be done at all? Is the "nuclear industry" afraid to do it? Or are they and the government unwilling to do it because it costs too much? There is serious political payoff from raising nuclear issues. There is more than science to be considered. How an issue is marketed to the public becomes critically important.

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