Science, Policy and Citizenship Program

Program Areas –

Pandora’s Promise: Nuclear Power in Bangladesh

January 10 – January 11, 2014

Deliberation Scenario:

Participant in the BGreen Youth Conference on the environment of Bangladesh were given this scenario:

We have invited you to take part in a youth consultation on nuclear power because the BGreen Youth Council wishes to learn about your views on what should be done about using it to produce energy in Bangladesh.

Following considerations have contributed to this decision:

  • Letter from four top climate scientists distributed to a variety of organizations and journalist pressing the case for environmental groups to embrace the need for a new generation of nuclear power plants.
  • Bangladesh government’s decision to inaugurate the first phase work for the proposed Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Write-ups from eminent Bangladeshi scientists, academics and nuclear experts sounding caution and voicing concerns about the safety and devastating consequence of an accident and other critical factors.


Project Summary:

High School and College students aged 16-22 participating in the BGreeen Conference on Youth, Environment and Action spent the entire afternoon on Friday January 10 posing as citizens concerned about energy and climate challenges. They deliberated face to face with each other and with experts in the field about the prospects, potentials, uncertainties and challenges associated with the decision to build a 2000 MW nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. They had a chance to listen respectfully to each other, review publicly available information, and obtain answers to their questions directly from experts in the field. Reflecting on these deliberations they voted individually to determine the majority position for their respective groups. The students then prepared written testimonies in support of their group positions and presented them in a mock Public Hearing on Saturday, January 11, before a panel representing the BGreen Youth Council.

Project Timeline:

  • January 6th – 8th: Preparation (Pre-survey, facilitator training, distribution of briefing materials).
  • January 10th, 2:00 – 3:15 PM: Session 1: Initial Group Deliberation
  • January 10th, 3:30 – 4:30 PM: Session 2: Open deliberations with experts
  • January 10th, 4:30 – 5:30 PM: Session 3: Final Group Deliberation
  • January 11th, 9:30 – 11:00AM: Session 4: Public Testimony to BGreen Youth Council.

Project Documents:

Media Reports

Project Contributors:

  • Mahmud Farooque, ASU
  • Fadia Hasan, UMASS-Amherst
  • Ira Bennett, ASU
  • Jennifer Richter, ASU
  • David Tomblin, UMD
  • David Sittenfeld, MOS
  • Mohammad Matin, BAPA
  • Ahmed Badruzzaman, BEN