Degree Name

MSEH (Master of Science in Environmental Health)


Environmental Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kenneth Z. Silver

Committee Members

David M. Close, Phillip R. Scheuerman


A prolonged siting controversy for a uranium enrichment facility has occurred in the Town of Unicoi, Tennessee. One hundred-seventy residents of Unicoi were interviewed using a questionnaire regarding the building of a proposed uranium enrichment facility for Unicoi. The questionnaire sought to determine relationships between residents’ risk perceptions and 18 variables. When the Fisher’s exact procedure was applied at α< 0.05, the results indicated several associations. Odds ratio measured the strength of association. Results are reported as crude measures of association. Risk perceptions were influenced by the choice of possible locations for the facility [p=0.0003; OR=32.6]. Residents' risk perceptions were associated with a history of working with nuclear materials [p=0.0476; OR=3.2]. Finally, risk perceptions were associated with residents' beliefs that the nuclear facility would affect their health [p=0.0001; OR=18.8]. These results are discussed in light of risk perception and communication theories.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.