Qualitative Content Analysis of the Use of Nuclear Power Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Management Research in Decreased Usage of Nuclear Energy: Content Analysis

A Dissertation Presented using the Qualitative Content-Analysis

Komi Emmanuel Fiagbe Gbedegan

Caroline Westerhof PH-D, Chair

Dr. Steven Munkeby PH-D, Committee Member

Dr. Daphne Deporres PH-D Committee Member

Date Approved

Komi Emmanuel Fiagbe Gbedegan, 2016

A qualitative content analysis has been conducted to explore the phenomenon of decreased usage of nuclear energy at a time when global climate change indicates the need for increased usage of nuclear energy. Qualitative analysis involves obtained data from existing literature which is evaluated using processes for interpreting contexts and cases. In this qualitative content analysis, the researcher will use a systematic analysis to identify themes and patterns on decreased nuclear energy usage. The researcher will compare, contrast, and classify the content of qualitative data obtained about this phenomenon. First, nuclear energy is declining in its share of global energy. Second, nuclear energy offers what might well be the best solution to climate change. Given the threat posed by climate change, greater understanding of why nuclear is decreasing rather than increasing is the purpose of this proposed study. This qualitative research proposal seeks to look at some of the issues facing nuclear power, and how it can overcome these issues to increase share going forward. The research will utilize a qualitative content analysis technique to examine the phenomenon of decreased nuclear energy.

Add a Dedication, if desired [Add Acknowledgements]

Table of Contents

Abstract ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgements iv

Table of Contents v

List of Tables viii

List of Figures vii

Chapter One: Introduction 1

Background 1

Problem Statement 3

Research Objectives 5

Purpose Statement 7

Research Question 7

Research Propositions 7

Theoretical Perspectives 10

Assumptions and Biases 11

Significance of the Study 14

Delimitations 15

Limitations 16

Definition of Key Terms 17

General Overview of the Research Design 18

Summary of Chapter one 21

Organization of the study 23

Chapter Two: Literature Review 24

Overview of Studies to be Analyzed 27

Review of the Studies 36

Social Dimension in Nuclear Energy 40

Political Dimension in Nuclear Energy 46

Economic Dimension in Nuclear Energy 55

Nuclear Energy and Climate Change 56

Conceptual Framework 64

Summary of Chapter Two 69

Chapter Three: Methodology 72

Research Traditions 72

Research Question 75

Research Propostions 76

Research Design 78

Population and Sample 82

Sampling Procedure 84

Instrumentation 86

Validity 87

Reliability 87

Data Collection 88

Data Analysis 89

Ethical Issues in Research 91

Summary of Chapter Three 92

References 96

List of Figures

[Add List of Figures here]


Chapter One: Introduction

Global climate change is one of the most pressing issues in the 21st Century that has attracted considerable attention from governments, policymakers, environmentalists, industry experts, and the public. This problem is brought by increased emissions of greenhouse gases from the conventional sources of energy. One of the potential solutions to this issue is nuclear energy, which is energy in the core or nucleus of an atom. Nuclear energy has the potential to resolve global climate change in a sustainable manner as demonstrated by existing research. However, the share of nuclear energy in the global energy mix continues to decline at a time when climate change indicates an increased need for it. As a result, the phenomenon of decreased nuclear energy usage is an issue that should be critically examined. This chapter begins with an overview of this issue, which is followed by problem opportunity statement, purpose statement, research question, hypotheses/propositions and conceptual framework. The other segments in the chapter include assumptions, significance of the study, delimitations, limitations, definition of terms, general overview of research design, and chapter summary.


Nuclear energy was first harnessed for power in 1954, at the Obninsk scientific city some 110km outside of Moscow (Josephson, 2000, p.2). At the time, nuclear power was viewed as the energy of the future. Unharnessing the power of the atom, it was thought, was to provide a stable, reliable source of energy for the future. Even at the time, it was known that fossil fuels were not going to be sustainable as an energy source. The use of atomic weapons was essential in wars; at the end of the Second World War, such use has highlighted the value of harnessing the atom nuclear
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energy, and meeting civilian energy needs. The most technologically advanced societies of that age, the U.S. and USSR, were the leaders in the development of nuclear technology, but they were soon joined by a number of other nations.

Nuclear energy can be described as the energy in the core or nucleus of an atom, which is a small unit that contributes to all matter in the universe. Nuclear energy is derived from nuclear reactions, which are used to produce heat that is most commonly used in steam turbines to generate electricity, especially in a nuclear power station. According to Remo (2015), nuclear energy, which is utilized in weapons and for generating electricity, has the probability of both destroying life and saving lives on Earth (p.38). As a result, the likelihood of effective use of nuclear energy to save lives as well as for producing a catastrophic thermonuclear war on Earth has contributed to a huge debate and controversy relating to nuclear energy.

Today, nuclear energy provides for roughly 10% of the world's energy needs. There are reactors in 31 countries, for a total of 427 reactors as of 2013 (Schneider et al., 2013). That is seventeen fewer reactors than there were in 2002, and the installed capacity of the industry is at 364 GWe, down from 375 GWe in 2002. Thus, the nuclear power industry is in decline. While some of this can be attributed to the Fukushima disaster that took some of Japan's capacity offline, the fact that nuclear energy is not growing is somewhat perplexing. Since 2002, the world's collective knowledge of climate change has increased substantially. Many nations around the world made commitments to reduce their carbon emissions in the Kyoto Protocol (UN FCC, 2014).

Yet, despite this, there has been very little new investment in nuclear power. Total capacity has declined as noted above, and given that overall energy production capacity has likely increased in this period, the market share for nuclear power has declined significantly in this period. Three-quarters of the decline came from Japan, but the top five other nuclear power generators also decreased their output as well (Schneider et al., 2013). In 1993, nuclear power peaked at 17% of total global energy production but now sits at 10% (World Energy Resources, 2013, p.7). With no major new build programs, the average age of the world's nuclear reactors is at 28 years, with over 190 units having run for over 30 years, and 44 units having run for over 40 years World Energy Resources, 2013,p.7). There is some new construction, in fourteen countries, with one (the UAE) being a new member of the nuclear power club. There have been many delays that have stalled progress in potential new members to the nuclear power club, particularly developing world nations (World Energy Resources, 2013, p.7).

While nuclear energy has the potential to resolve global climate change, its share in the global energy mix continues to decline. The development and use of nuclear energy is increasingly declining at a time when global climate change indicates an increased need for this source of power. It's ironical how the world continues to rely on conventional sources of energy, which emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change, while neglecting nuclear energy that can resolve the problem. Therefore, the phenomenon of decreased nuclear energy is an important issue to examine.

Problem Opportunity Statement

As shown in the background, the development of nuclear power plants has stalled in many developing nations. Similarly, many would-be nuclear powers have had trouble getting their reactors built such as Bangladesh, Belarus, Jordan, Lithuania, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam among them (Schneider et al., 2013, p.7). In established nuclear power countries, there is a lack of investment in adding new capacity. Where there is new construction, it is to replace aging facilities.

Given the decline in development of nuclear power reactors, the world continues to rely on conventional sources of energy to meet the current global energy needs. This continual reliance has exacerbated the problem of global climate change. Consequently, environmentalists, policymakers, and governments have continued to search for a sustainable source of power that will meet global energy needs while resolving climate change. Research demonstrates that nuclear energy has the potential to resolve global climate and meet the current global energy needs (Sailor et al., 2000). However, nuclear energy usage continues to decline while climate change shows an increased need for it (Dunlap, Kraft & Rosa, 2013; Schwarz & Cochran, 2012).

Therefore, the problem to be examined in this qualitative content analysis research is the decline in nuclear energy usage despite its capability to resolve global climate change and meet energy needs. The opportunity presented by the current situation is to determine what the factors are, in relation to qualitative…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alic, J. (2012). Six Things to do with Nuclear Waste: None of them Ideal. Oil Price.com.

Retrieved June 17, 2015 from http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/6-Things-to-do-with-Nuclear-Waste-None-of-them-Ideal.html

Alley, W. & Alley, R. (2013). Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-level Nuclear Waste.

Review by Konikow, L. (2013). Hydrogeology Journal.

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