What Makes Nuclear Energy (not) Acceptable?

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Abstract

This paper investigates the relation between knowledge about the nuclear, risk perception, confidence in the management of nuclear technologies, on the one hand, and the attitude towards nuclear energy and opinion about nuclear energy, on the other hand. It also studies the factors that are pleading in favour or against nuclear energy and their relation with the forementioned variables. The study is based on empirical data from a large scale opinion survey in Belgium in 2011 representative for the Belgian adult population with respect to gender, age, region, province, habitat and social class. Results show that confidence in the safe management of nuclear technologies as well as the perceived strength of the arguments pro/against nuclear are driving factors for people's attitude towards nuclear energy. Higher confidence and stronger adherence to the arguments in favour of nuclear energy lead to higher acceptance. Knowledge about nuclear and perception of nuclear risks have only a weak effect on attitudes or opinions about nuclear energy. The main factors seen as pleading in favour or against nuclear energy are similar for people who are pro or against nuclear energy, even if the strength of the relations varies among the two groups.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-498
JournalATW- International Journal of Nuclear Power
Volume58
Issue number8/9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • nuclear energy, public opinion, confidence, risk perception

ID: 312680