Qualitative Content Analysis on the Use of Nuclear Power Essay

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Decreased Usage of Nuclear Energy: Qualitative-Content Analysis

ADissertation Presentedusing the Qualitative Content-Analysis

inPartial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor ofManagement in Environmental and Social Sustainability

Komi Emmanuel Fiagbe Gbedegan

Caroline WesterhofPH-D Chair

Dr. Daphne DeporresPH-D Committee Member

Dr. Steven Munkeby, PH-D Committee Member

Date Approved

Komi Emmanuel Fiagbe Gbedegan, 2016

A qualitative content analysis will be 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 content 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 compared, contrasted, and classified 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 ix

Chapter One: Introduction 1

Topic Overview/Background 13

Problem Opportunity Statement 15

Purpose Statement 16

Research Question(s) 17

Hypotheses/Propositions 17

Theoretical Perspectives/Conceptual Framework 18

Assumptions/Biases 20

Significance of the Study 21

Delimitations 22

Limitations 24

Definition of Key Terms 24

General Overview of the Research Design 25

Summary of Chapter One 26

Organization of the Dissertation (or Proposal) 27

Chapter Two: Literature Review 29

Summary of Literature Review

Chapter Three: Methodology 60

Research Traditions 60

Research Question 65

Research Proposition 65

Research Design 66

Population and Sample 66

Sampling Procedure 68

Instrumentation 70

Validity 70

Reliability 71

Data Collection 72

Data Analysis 73

Ethical Issues in Research 75

Summary of Chapter Three 75

Chapter Four: Findings 79

Presentation of the Data 79

Presentation and Discussion of Findings 85

Summary of Chapter Four 89

Chapter Five: Conclusions 91

Findings and Conclusions 91

Limitations of the Study 93

Implications for Practice 93

Implications of Study and Recommendations for Future Research 94

Reflections 95

Conclusion 97

References 98


Appendix A: Nuclear Energy Market Share Worldwide (source: IAEA, 2015) 108

Appendix B: Nuclear Reactors Operating Worldwide (source: IAEA, 2015) 109

Appendix C: Number of Nuclear Reactors Under Construction Worldwide (source: IAEA, 2015). 110

Table 1 Comparison of Matches for Reasons for Decreased Nuclear Energy Usage

Table 2 Cumulative Frequency for the Factors

Table 3 Public Perception Influences Policymaking

Table 4 Policymaking Influences Public Perception

Table 5 Public Perception is influenced by Nuclear Power Disasters

Table 6 Nuclear Disasters Influence Policymaking

Table 7 Nuclear Energy as a Sustainable Energy Source

Table 8 Cumulative Frequency Table for Nuclear Energy's Sustainability

Table 9 Nuclear Energy's Ability to Address Climate Change Effectively

List of Figures

Figure 1 Conceptual Framework Diagram


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
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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, Located at the Obninsk in scientific city at 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 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 (Josephson, 2000, p.2). 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 (Josephson, 2002, p.5).

Today, nuclear energy provides for roughly 10% of the world's energy needs (Schneider et al., 2013). 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 (Schneider et al., 2013). 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 (Schneider et al., 2013). 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 (Schneider et al., 2013). 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 (World Energy Resources, 2013, p.7). 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 ironic 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 section of this chapter, 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 (World Energy Resources, 2013, p.7). Where there is…

Sources Used in Documents:

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Literature in Organization Studies: Research Themes, Data Sources, and Methodological Refinements. Organizational Research Methods, 10(1), 5-34.

Ewing, R. (2001). The Design and Evaluation of Nuclear-waste Forms: Clues from Mineralogy.

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