International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Morgan Ruelle


As the number of nuclear power plants slated for decommissioning increases, reflecting on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) decommissioning regulations in relation to public participation becomes increasingly important. When plants close, communities lose security in economics, employment, and environmental and human health. The NRC’s regulations on public involvement are very limited and generally stakeholders do not feel supported in the decommissioning process. Local and tribal governments, citizen groups, the general public, and those directly affected have all found the NRC’s public involvement inadequate, ineffective, and infrequent. The case studies of two completely decommissioned plants, Maine Yankee and Big Rock Point, and recommendations/actions of other decommissioning groups, governments, and stakeholders were used to inform policy recommendations for the NRC in order to create a decommissioning process that provides equal opportunity to learn, discuss, and plan for all stakeholders.



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