Skip to main content
Risk Tradeoff Analysis, Public Opinion and Nuclear Safety: A Spanish Case Study
Sanford Journal of Public Policy (2014)
  • Xiao Recio-Blanco, Duke University

The 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant opened a heated worldwide debate over nuclear energy. Unfortunately, neither the previous nor current Spanish governments have publicized the evidence used to evaluate the merits of extending the lifespan of Spain’s own Garoña plant. This article uses the Garoña case for a twofold purpose. First, the article analyzes the accountability of Spain’s executive power decisions on potentially catastrophic industrial activities. The paper finds that the lack of appropriate information disclosure duties in Spain may allow the government to abuse its discretion on actions potentially damaging to human health and the environment. In addition, the paper uses risk tradeoff analysis to theorize how the Spanish government made its regulatory decision on Garoña. The analysis suggests that decisions made about Garoña involve a broad array of issues and interests that require a comprehensive, careful balancing of risks. The paper concludes that Spain needs urgent regulatory reform regarding transparency and access to information as well as the adoption of updated risk management theory for its regulation of technology.

  • nuclear safety,
  • Garoña,
  • Spain,
  • risk tradeoffs,
  • transparency
Publication Date
Spring 2014
Citation Information
Xiao Recio-Blanco. "Risk Tradeoff Analysis, Public Opinion and Nuclear Safety: A Spanish Case Study" Sanford Journal of Public Policy Vol. 5 Iss. 2 (2014)
Available at: