NWPO Socioeconomic Reports

The Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office has funded studies on a variety of socioeconomic issues and the citizens of Nevada may well be curious what the $15 million expended paid for. Knowing what was left out the studies is perhaps even more important. While the Nevada socioeconomic studies may be 'state-of-the-art', they may not have served Nevadans well as a means of planning their future in regard to Yucca Mountain.

The reports issued by NWPO socioeconomic researchers unfortunately suffer from a number of flaws:

  1. Except for research on the Indians tribes, the research was done almost exclusively by out-of-state academics with little feel for local culture, economic conditions or traditions.
  2. Many of the studies have little bearing on Nevada and are in fact philosophical works more suited for academic research papers than the real world.
  3. The overriding concern in many papers is to find a way to defeat Yucca Mountain, rather than do practical social and economic research. This is evident in some rather bizarre studies.
  4. Much of the polling is politically motivated.
  5. The main studies were monopolized by a few social researchers who appeared willing to encroach on the engineering sciences without proper credentials.
  6. Much of the philosophy proposed is based on Rawlsian ethics. Rawlsian ethics is not part of main stream socioeconomic research because it is speculative and perhaps even revolutionary.

Some of the socioeconomic research problems are evidenced in the titles of their resulting reports and for that reason we've printed the following list of publications available from NWPO to show their philosophical trend. The implications of some of the NWPO studies are obscure, so we've attempted to provide clarification where possible to explain why many of these studies are suspect.


NOTE: Those reports which either have little bearing on Nevada's socioeconomic future, are poor science, or otherwise deserve further study and validation by researchers are marked with a (*). A bracketed comment [ ] following a report suggests possible problems.