The Art of Being Ethical and Responsible : Print Media Debate on Final Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Finland and Sweden
Kojo, M., Vilhunen, T., Kari, M., Litmanen, T., & Lehtonen, M. (2022). The Art of Being Ethical and Responsible : Print Media Debate on Final Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Finland and Sweden. Social Justice Research, 35(2), 157-187. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11211-022-00391-6
Published inSocial Justice Research
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2022
After decades of preparation, the fnal disposal of spent nuclear fuel has reached the construction stage in Finland, and the neighboring Sweden is likely to soon follow in the footsteps. These Nordic countries rely on a similar technical concept based on passive safety, advocated as a means of minimizing the burden to future generations. The scholarly literature on the ethics of nuclear waste management has thus far paid little attention to the views of the broader publics on the associated ethical challenges. This article helps to fll the gap through a longitudinal and comparative analysis of ethical discussion of the fnal disposal of SNF in news articles and letters to the editor in four leading Finnish and Swedish daily newspapers in 2008–2015. The study period included major milestones in the licensing processes of the respective two repository projects. The article examines the attention paid to intra- and intergenerational distributive and procedural justice, the changes in the ethical agenda over time, and the societal actor groups that receive attention in the media. The analysis reveals two distinct ethical media agendas: (1) the news article agenda that is dominated by framings of the main players (industry, politicians, authorities, and experts) and largely excludes future generations from the scope of justice, and (2) the agenda represented by the letters to the editor, which focuses on intergenerational justice concerns. Particularly, in the Finnish letters to the editor the value of the lives of distant future generations was discounted implicitly. ...
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Related funder(s)Research Council of Finland
Funding program(s)Strategic research programmes, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis study was supported by the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT2018), the project “Governing Safety in Finnish and Swedish Nuclear Waste Regimes,” the European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (IF) Grant Number 794697-TENUMECA and the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (research project no. 313013 and subproject no. 313015).
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