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A Study on Policy Change of Locating Radioactive Waste Depository Facilities in South Korea Using a Multiple Streams Perspective Public Deposited

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  • This essay provides a snapshot of major policy change in the siting of radioactive waste depository facilities in South Korea during 2005. After 20 years of failing to locate a radioactive waste depository facility, South Korea finally succeeded in locating a facility through a major policy change of delegating decision power from the central government to local residents. The Multiple Streams framework was used to investigate changes in policy streams and politics streams since the 1980s. As Multiple Streams Framework argues, policy windows are opened when problem, policy and political streams are coupled at critical moments in time, thus leading to a major policy change. This study aims to verify whether this case can provide an example that corresponds to the hypothesis of the Mutiple Streams Framework. This study divides 20 years of pursuit to site radioactive waste depository facilities in South Korea into three periods, before and after three focusing events that drew national attention from policy makers and the public. This study shows that in the first and second period, the streams of problems, policies and politics could not be coupled because of underdeveloped policies and non-democratic politics. Yet, in the third period, the streams were coupled during a short period leading to a major policy change that unprecedently increased participation of local residents in the policy making process. Therefore, this study provides an example that confirms the validity of the hypothesis of Multiple Streams Framework.
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