Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Political Science

First Advisor

Denise Keele

Second Advisor

Susan Hoffman

Third Advisor

Iris Potter


As nuclear power has evolved from the mid-twentieth century to today, it has experienced phases of rapid growth, regulation, and distrust concerning operations and waste disposal. This study will analyze the policy community active in these changes as they have progressed through the policymaking process and will examine the actors within an "iron triangle" framework to evaluate the community's relationships, power structure, and effectiveness. Specifically, this thesis seeks to answer two research questions: 1) how does interest group behavior influence nuclear policy communities, and 2) does the iron triangle framework explain the nuclear policy community relationships and outcomes. While historical and background information on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will provide the overall national context, the research is designed as a case study, and as such, will primarily investigate the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in South Haven, Michigan.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Certificate.pdf (4617 kB)