Inderscience Publishers

Public risk perception of nuclear waste

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Nuclear waste has emerged as a very salient issue in the nuclear power debate. In the present study, a broad range of risk perception and attitude dimensions concerned with nuclear waste was investigated. It was found that most respondents from the general public were not willing to accept a local high-level nuclear waste repository in their home region. Nuclear waste was seen, by the public, as a very important issue. Regression analysis of perceived nuclear waste risk yielded a high level of explained variance (about 65%). Fear of radiation appeared to be an important determinant of the perceived risk and so was attitude to nuclear power, risk sensitivity and a pooled measure of the traditional psychometric dimensions of risk perception. A structural equations model of acceptance of a local repository was quite successful in explaining acceptance.

Keywords: nuclear waste, political intentions, risk perception, nuclear power, nuclear energy, public perception, risk assessment

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