National government policy options for contributing to regional economic stability: The US department of energy's major nuclear weapons sites

Michael Greenberg, Karen Lowrie, Michael Frisch, David Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have conducted economic simulation, historical, and survey research that considers the national government's obligation to the regions that surround the places where it developed and tested nuclear weapons. The research shows that the strongest case for an obligation is at four site regions: Hanford (Washington), Idaho, Oak Ridge (Tennessee), and Savannah River (Georgia, South Carolina). These four are dependent on the Department of Energy (DOE), have relatively low incomes, are expected to grow less economically than their counterparts and the nation as a whole, and suffer from environmental stigma. We reviewed and simulated the impacts of a variety of tools, including severance packages, onsite projects, and offsite economic investments. In essence, investments in severance packages, education, and recreation are more effective per dollar invested than high technology, but all investments are less effective in these dependent regions than in larger metropolitan areas because of the economic leakage out of these dependent regions. The national government needs to begin a process of working with these regions to help them deal with the shock of shrinking their dependency on the DOE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-670
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Policy Research
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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