Out of sight, out of mind? Investigating the longitudinal impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on public opinion in the United States

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10/22/2021, 6:17:13 PM
Logistic Regression
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Public opinion on nuclear accidents has important implications regarding energy planning and policy making. However, the long-term impacts of these event on citizens’ opinions is unclear. This question assumes relevance especially in the context of rising citizen involvement in development and decision making. This study compiles and examines seven years of public opinion survey data to investigate whether there was a long-term change in support for nuclear energy in the US following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. The analysis uses a logistic regression model to estimate the long-term trends in opinion on nuclear power among the US public and its major drivers. Results show that public support for nuclear energy has not rebounded to its pre-accident levels. While it isn’t clear whether the accident in Fukushima was the only driving factor, there has been a gradual decline in support following the incident, suggesting that short-term negative changes in public support for nuclear power have long-term consequences for energy policy. These findings have implications for policymakers since short-term impacts can be mitigated but long-term opposition is more difficult to address, especially in the context of developing countries that are investing in nuclear energy to meet growing demand.
Nuclear energy ; Public opinion ; Fukushima nuclear accident ; Logistic Regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Year Published
Energy Policy , 2018, vol. 122, issue C, 169-175