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Public perceptions and acceptance of nuclear energy in China: The role of public knowledge, perceived benefit, perceived risk and public engagement
- Wang, Shanyong, Wang, Jing, Lin, Shoufu, Li, Jun
- Energy policy 2019 v.126 pp. 352-360
- carbon, citizen participation, emissions, energy, energy policy, global warming, nuclear power, public opinion, questionnaires, risk perception, China
- Nuclear energy has been regarded as a controversial energy option to reduce carbon emissions, alleviate global warming and transition to a low-carbon society. Understanding public perceptions and acceptance of nuclear energy and identifying the determinants of acceptance are vital to make nuclear energy policy and establish nuclear energy program. Based on a questionnaire survey conducted in China (N = 719), this study aims to examine public perceptions and acceptance of nuclear energy, and explore the effects of public knowledge about nuclear energy, perceived benefit, perceived risk and public engagement on public acceptance. This study indicated that public knowledge is positively and significantly related to perceived benefit and public acceptance, but not significantly related to perceived risk. Perceived benefit and perceived risk are all positively and significantly associated with public acceptance. Meanwhile, this study also demonstrated the positive effect of public engagement on public acceptance. In addition, this study also revealed that public knowledge, perceived benefit and public engagement in China are at a lower level, and public acceptance of nuclear energy is at a moderate level. However, the level of perceived risk is higher. Based on the results, implications and suggestions are presented.