1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

societal impacts of the various sources? The specific combination of energy sources that end up supplying the energy demand in the coming decade will be based in large part on the answers that the public finds to these questions. Furthermore, the public would like each source to have the least adverse impact possible while contributing its share to the total energy demand. Most importantly, the public would like to be involved in making decisions regarding the selection of energy sources and the acceptability of their impacts. The SPS is an advanced technological concept with numerous impacts, several of which are international in scope. How can the public be involved at the very earliest phases of a program of this complexity? What are the likely determinants of public acceptability? Which issues are fundamental and which can be resolved? There are many publics and most of them currently have little or no interest in SPS. Thus, a process is needed to expand awareness and interest. The approach developed for SPS has come to be called the Participatory Technology Process (PTP) . A key feature of the PTP is encouragement of public involvement and the identification of public concerns. An outreach experiment was conducted with three public interest organizations. Other studies have confirmed the importance of public involvement in the decision-making process and have examined trends in American society that could influence public attitudes towards SPS. 1. Public Involvement Public involvement has been an integral part of the SPS Concept Development and Evaluation Program through implementation of the Participatory Tech- nology Process. The major features of this process are shown in Exhibit 6. The activities undertaken and issues addressed in all assessment areas were guided by workshops of nationally known investigators. The studies themselves were conducted by private contractors, universities, government laboratories, or other government agencies; the intent being to get the best possible study and the widest range of thinking about SPS. Every study report was peer reviewed. At least two peers from government (independent of SPS), two from industry and two from the university community were asked to review each report. Often the number of reviews far exceeded the minimum, with each review