Waste is a Terrible Thing to Mind: Risk, Radiation, and Distrust of Government

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It is an unenviable task, but one that all state governments face: finding a final "resting place" for low-level nuclear waste from power plants, hospitals, university laboratories, and other industries. John Weingart was the official in New Jersey who for many years led this onerous charge. This book is the story of how he and a commission appointed by the governor, instead of imposing a top-down solution, designed an approach that would confront public fears by seeking a community that would volunteer to host a...
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2007 Paperback NEW 9780813542379 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item ... is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

It is an unenviable task, but one that all state governments face: finding a final "resting place" for low-level nuclear waste from power plants, hospitals, university laboratories, and other industries. John Weingart was the official in New Jersey who for many years led this onerous charge. This book is the story of how he and a commission appointed by the governor, instead of imposing a top-down solution, designed an approach that would confront public fears by seeking a community that would volunteer to host a disposal facility. Initially, this novel approach was surprisingly successful, as leaders in a dozen municipalities stepped forward to say they might be interested. Once their interest became known, however, the process in each town derailed. Residents demanded assurances of zero-percent risk and expressed profound distrust of government assertions and promises. Waste Is a Terrible Thing to Mind is a compelling, suspenseful, and amusing insider's account of New Jersey policy and politics, but it is also a larger saga of the challenges facing society in the post-9/11 era when the public's distrust of government is increasing at the same time that its sensitivity to health and safety threats is heightened.

About the Author:
John Weingart is associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutners University

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Editorial Reviews

The Star Ledger

A reflective, insightful book . . . How, Weingart asks, can our relationship with government change to one in which we actually trust public agencies and officials to help us know what is dangerous and what isn't. This work is a major contribution to finding the answer.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813542379
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Series: Rivergate
  • Edition description: First Rutgers Edition with a New Preface
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents


Preface to the 2007 Edition     vii
Introduction     1
The Challenge
Visualizing Success     7
Radiation and Risk     19
Multi-State Compacts: Seeking Regional Solutions     31
First Steps: The New Jersey Siting Process Begins     39
Connecticut and Illinois: The Seeds of the Voluntary Siting Process     47
'One Tough Job: Peddling Radioactive Waste'     59
Culture     77
1995 The First Year of the Voluntary Process
Lessons from Roosevelt     89
Elsinboro     93
Selling Snake Oil at Rotary Clubs     103
Nibbles     109
Hamburg Helper, or 'Dump Dangles Big Carrot'     115
Welcome to Allowayste     121
More Nibbles     127
Planning for the General Election     131
Barnwell Returns     139
1996 The Second Year of the Voluntary Process
The Saturday Paper     149
'Lower Thumps Dump'     157
'Somebody Wants It'     163
Environmental Justice and Other Lessons from Fairfield     179
Falling Dominos     187
The Poll     193
More Planning for the Election     197
O Little Town of Bethlehem     209
'An Appalling Lack of Ignorance'     231
"Working For The Government Is Cool"
A Bureaucrat's Journal from April 28, 1997 to February 12, 1998     237
Postscript - November 1998     311
The Problem Is Solved     317
False Starts, Potential Solutions
In-State Siting Options     325
Other States: Utah, North Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, and California     337
High-Level Waste: The Federal Experience     345
Fear and Distrust: The Modern Malady
Environmentalists and Risk: Have We Met The Enemy?     351
Fear of Risk - It Could Happen     357
Fear of Government     365
Politics Is More Difficult Than Physics
Making Government Work In A NIMBY Age     373
Chronology     405
Endnotes     411
Index     419
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