The nuclear industry: a particular challenge to democracy in Europe?

Barnes, Pamela M. (2006) The nuclear industry: a particular challenge to democracy in Europe? Managerial Law, 48 (4). pp. 400-429. ISSN 0309-0558

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03090550610681222

Abstract

The national governments of the European Union (EU) are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their populations with cheap and reliable sources of electricity. There is a highly controversial technology available within the EU which could overcome this problem – nuclear generated electricity. The purpose of this article is to question the extent to which it is possible to reconcile the views of those citizens who object to the use of nuclear electricity with views of those who support the use of nuclear electricity as a competitive, sustainable and secure electricity supply within an open and competitive European energy market.
Design/methodology/approach – This article adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to the analysis of the issues.
Findings – Political, economic and environmental pressures are combining to constrain the opportunities for national governments to enable citizens’ preferences with regard to the nuclear sector to be maintained. What is argued in the article is that all the tools which are available to the EU to overcome any lack of democratic decision making in the nuclear sector must be utilised to their full potential, including the legal framework provided by the often overlooked EURATOM Treaty.
Originality/value – The research will be of value to academic lawyers and political scientists investigating the problematic relationships which exist between the national and supranational levels of governance in the EU

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The national governments of the European Union (EU) are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their populations with cheap and reliable sources of electricity. There is a highly controversial technology available within the EU which could overcome this problem – nuclear generated electricity. The purpose of this article is to question the extent to which it is possible to reconcile the views of those citizens who object to the use of nuclear electricity with views of those who support the use of nuclear electricity as a competitive, sustainable and secure electricity supply within an open and competitive European energy market. Design/methodology/approach – This article adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to the analysis of the issues. Findings – Political, economic and environmental pressures are combining to constrain the opportunities for national governments to enable citizens’ preferences with regard to the nuclear sector to be maintained. What is argued in the article is that all the tools which are available to the EU to overcome any lack of democratic decision making in the nuclear sector must be utilised to their full potential, including the legal framework provided by the often overlooked EURATOM Treaty. Originality/value – The research will be of value to academic lawyers and political scientists investigating the problematic relationships which exist between the national and supranational levels of governance in the EU
Keywords:Democracy, European Union, Nuclear power, Public opinion
Subjects:H Engineering > H631 Electrical Power Generation
L Social studies > L241 European Union Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:693
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:22 Jun 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:12

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