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dissertation research- attitudes towards nuclear energy

 
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clb519



Joined: 24 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: dissertation research- attitudes towards nuclear energy Reply with quote

Hello, I am a third year environmental geography student at the University of York, and am researching public attitudes towards nuclear energy for my dissertation. I would be very grateful if you could fill out my questionnaire at the link below. It only takes 3-4 minutes and all answers are anonymous. Thanks!

http://www.kwiksurveys.com?s=OJNLLH_7b0fcbf3
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Re: dissertation research- attitudes towards nuclear energy Reply with quote

clb519 wrote:
Hello, I am a third year environmental geography student at the University of York, and am researching public attitudes towards nuclear energy for my dissertation. I would be very grateful if you could fill out my questionnaire at the link below. It only takes 3-4 minutes and all answers are anonymous. Thanks!

http://www.kwiksurveys.com?s=OJNLLH_7b0fcbf3


I think your survey has some problems. Firstly, it is manipulative in a pro-nuclear fashion. On the first page you ask "How many olympic sized swimming pools would be filled with nuclear waste in the UK?" I knew perfectly well it was considerably less than one, but the question itself suggests that most people believe it is much more than that. This has been done deliberately in order to set up the "sucker punch" on the next page where you announce that it one tenth of swimming pool.

Only a person with a pro-nuclear agenda would have set up the questions like that. Either that or it's just not a good survey.

But the main problem is that for all your different options, you have not asked me the crucial question which determines my stance on nuclear power. You ask "is it safe?" My concern is not so much with nuclear safety at the moment, whilst "business as usual" (or something that resembles it) persists. My concern is what will happen in forty years when any next generation of nuclear power stations need to be decommissioned. I strongly suspect that the UK will be in very poor shape economically by then and poorly equipped to bear the immense costs of safely dismantling nuclear plants at the end of their life. The real problem is that we are leaving this expensive and dangerous legacy for future generations to clean up. We cannot assume that future generations will be able to afford to do this. That is why I am anti-nuclear, but there was no way for me to make this clear via your survey. You ask about costs, but not about WHEN those costs occur. At the end of the day, if you can't afford to dismantle an old coal-fired plant, you can leave nature to do the job. Try that with a nuclear plant and the result will be catastrophic.


Last edited by UndercoverElephant on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mean Mr Mustard



Joined: 31 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clb519,

Here's a paper that you may find useful. I cited it on my recent OU Sustainable Energy assignments on nuclear power and got good marks for it.

http://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/SP11-NuclearSafetyandInternationalGovernanceRussiaandEasternEurope-NFoss-1999.pdf

You may also google Nicole Foss (aka Stoneleigh), for more recent interviews, eg Fukushima.

Good luck with your studies.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clb519 wrote:
Hello, I am a third year environmental geography student at the University of York, and am researching public attitudes towards nuclear energy for my dissertation. I would be very grateful if you could fill out my questionnaire at the link below. It only takes 3-4 minutes and all answers are anonymous. Thanks!

http://www.kwiksurveys.com?s=OJNLLH_7b0fcbf3


I'd rather not, thanks. Some of the questions are a bit dodgy, like you have an agenda. Also, it won't let me skip questions I'm uncomfortable with.

Have you tested the questionnaire - with say a teacher - before posting?
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
clb519 wrote:
Hello, I am a third year environmental geography student at the University of York, and am researching public attitudes towards nuclear energy for my dissertation. I would be very grateful if you could fill out my questionnaire at the link below. It only takes 3-4 minutes and all answers are anonymous. Thanks!

http://www.kwiksurveys.com?s=OJNLLH_7b0fcbf3


I'd rather not, thanks. Some of the questions are a bit dodgy, like you have an agenda. Also, it won't let me skip questions I'm uncomfortable with.


Indeed. Like asking "What would it take to convince you nuclear power is safe/good?" How about I ask you "What would it take to convince you that it isn't?"

?
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extractorfan



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's a terrorist accident?

I thought they always did bad things on purpose, they're pesky like that.

Question 11 is unknowable

The questionnaire is biased towards pro nuclear.

But I completed it as best I could.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to take the piss, but this one had me chuckling: "How would you characterise any change in your opinion about nuclear power in the UK because of Fukushima".

Oh, much more positive! If I wasn't sure before, I am now!
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
Sorry to take the piss, but this one had me chuckling: "How would you characterise any change in your opinion about nuclear power in the UK because of Fukushima".

Oh, much more positive! If I wasn't sure before, I am now!


...and one wonders whether this is also setting up a sucker-punch. First you get the person to acknowledge that Fukushima has negatively influenced their opinions, then you can follow up with "The UK does not lie in an earthquake/tsunami zone, and modern plants are safer."

The questions are designed to suggest to anti-nuclear people why they believe what they believe, and then undermine it.
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clb519



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi,

I just like to say that you can skip the demographic questions if you don't wish to answer them, and all answers are anonymous.

People have different attitudes towards nuclear power for a variety of reasons. I can't include all of these on my questionnaire without it being impossibly long, but I have tried to include the main ones. Feel free to use the free-text question at the end to mention anything that is particularly important to you.

I have responded to comments here in the design of my questionnaire for future respondents, and the questionnaire is not designed to be pro-nuclear.

Thanks
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, clb519. We get more than our fair share of trolls and spammers on this forum, so lots of us are wary. Good luck!
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You cannot skip the numeric questions.

The question on how much CO2 increase would occur if nuclear was replace d by coal and gas has no possible answer, because coal and gas emit different levels of CO2 , so the answer depends on the mix.

Also, the death toll from Chenobyl is highly contentious. It is almost impossible to estimate long term effects on cancer rates, etc., or how many years a life may have been shortened. We do not have the detailed exposure data or a reasonable control control group.

The Japanese disaster has reconfirmed my opinion that Murphy's law is far too optimistic.

It is not just that what can go wrong will go wrong, but can't go wrong will go wrong as well.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very hard to write a good, non-leading questionnaire. This is a good start but it still has a long way to go.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nuclear power MIGHT be economic if only present day or near future costs are considered, but as others post, what about 30,40 or 50 years down the road when there may not be the money or expertise to safely dismantle.

Coal, gas, and renewables all have fatal accidents, but these are relatively localised and no matter how tragic for those involved, dont affect whole regions.

UK nuclear plants have a good record, though not unblemished.
But remember that Japanese plants had a fair record until Fukushima.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
It's very hard to write a good, non-leading questionnaire. This is a good start but it still has a long way to go.


+1

Not too bad till Q15 then it all went a bit pear-shaped.
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clb519



Joined: 24 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

This is a plea...

I'm currently at around 80 responses and I need about 250.

Please take 5 mintues to fill in my survey!

Thanks
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