Technology Assessment and Nova Scotian Tidal Power Projects

  • Cynthia Lamson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 20)


Proposals to construct and operate large-scale energy projects, particularly coastal and marine energy projects, tend to be controversial and highly politicized. Because technological change outpaces our understanding of the possible effects a new technology may have on the environment, and because scientific understanding about ecosystem dynamics is incomplete, development decisions are often based on limited information and are made in a climate of uncertainty. Decisions to proceed with (or delay) a project are, therefore, frequently the product of consensus-seeking with respect to the question: what constitutes politically acceptable levels of risk? “Until recently, evaluating the risks of technology has been considered a technical problem, not a political issue, a problem to be relegated to expertise, not to public debate. But controversies have increasingly politicized the issue of risk.”1


Nova Scotia None None Environmental Impact Assessment Tidal Power International Joint Commission 
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  1. 1.
    Dorothy Nelkin and Michael Pollak, “Consensus and Conflict Resolution: The Politics of Assessing Risk,” in Technological Risk,Meinoff Dierkes, Sam Edwards, Rob Coppock (eds.), Cambridge: Delgeschlager, Gunn and Hain, Publishers, Inc. (1980), pp. 65–75, at p. 65.Google Scholar
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    Dexter P. Cooper Inc. promoted plans for an international two-basin scheme using the tides of Passamaquoddy and Cobscook Bay; in 1935, the U.S. began construction of a facility on Cobscook Bay but suspended operations when project funding ceased. The governments of Canada and New Brunswick investigated a site at the mouths of the Petitecodiac and Memramcook Rivers in 1944, and the International Joint Commission investigated the costs of developing tidal power in Passamaquoddy Bay in 1956. The Atlantic Development Board sponsored surveys in the Shepody and Cumberland estuaries and Minas Basin from 1963 to 1966. See Atlantic Tidal Power Programming Board, Report, 1969: 9–10.Google Scholar
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    G.R. Daborn and M.W. Couley (Eds.), Energy Options for Atlantic Canada. Halifax: Formac Publishing Co.,Ltd in association with Acadia University Institute (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia Lamson

There are no affiliations available

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