What drives people's (non)acceptance of nuclear energy? Results from an empirical research in Belgium

Catrinel Turcanu, Tanja Perko, Céline Kermisch

    Research outputpeer-review


    This paper investigates the relation between knowledge about the nuclear domain, risk perception of nuclear risks and confidence in the management of nuclear technologies on the one hand, and 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. The study is based on empirical data from a large scale opinion survey in Belgium between 25/05 and 24/06/2011. Our results show that confidence in the safe management of nuclear technologies is a driving factor for people's acceptance of nuclear energy, higher confidence leading to higher acceptance. The level of knowledge about nuclear technologies has a weak effect on attitudes or opinions about nuclear energy. A weak effect is also observed for risk perception of nuclear risks, lower risk perception leading to a somewhat more positive attitude / opinion about nuclear energy. Finally, the main factors that are seen as pleading in favour or against nuclear energy are the same both for proponents and opponents of nuclear energy, even if the strength of the relations varies among the two groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransactions Civil Society
    Place of PublicationBrussels, Belgium
    StatePublished - Dec 2012
    EventENC 2012 - European Nuclear Conference - Manchester
    Duration: 9 Dec 201212 Dec 2012


    ConferenceENC 2012 - European Nuclear Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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