WHEN ASKED TO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE, DO PEOPLE PREFER NUCLEAR POWER?

27 Sep 2016
3:10 pm - 3:50 pm
Rackham Building

WHEN ASKED TO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE, DO PEOPLE PREFER NUCLEAR POWER?

Joe Arvai, Director, Erb Institute, Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Michigan

In an effort to reduce “carbon pollution” as well as prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, “President Obama’s 2013 Climate Action Plan calls for changes to be made to the nation’s energy system. In addition to focusing on alternative portfolios of different fuels and power-generation technologies—which, presumably, includes nuclear energy—researchers and advisory panels have urged that changes to the nation’s energy system be based on a decision-making framework that facilitates informed choices by incorporating stakeholders’ values and concerns, and accounting for real-world supply, demand, and technological constraints. To date, research and development on such a framework has proven elusive. The research reported here describes the basis for developing and testing a decision support framework that combines elements from structured decision-aiding with portfolio analysis, methods that have been used independently to elicit preferences in complex decision contexts.  This hybrid framework  (1) provided necessary background information to users regarding the development of coupled climate-energy strategies; (2) accounted for users’ values and objectives; (3) allowed for the construction of bespoke energy portfolios bounded by real-world supply and demand constraints; and (4) provided a more rigorous basis for addressing tradeoffs. 

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