Public opinion on nuclear energy in Europe, 1970 - 2018
MetadataShow full item record
Despite the nuclear inclusion objective of the European Commission in 2018 of nuclear energy in the power system and the historical reliance on nuclear energy, there seems to be a significant contrast of willingness between the member states to produce this nuclear energy. To understand why countries diverge in their choice for nuclear energy, one should understand the different perspectives on risks, costs, and benefits of nuclear power, which requires an analysis of public opinion in different countries. Unlike any other technology, the viability of nuclear energy seems to be subject to the course of the public opinion. This thesis study examines the public opinion of three European countries; The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, and Denmark from 1970 to 2018, to find out what explains the differences in public opinion on nuclear energy over time and cross countries. One finding holds that the higher the impact of adverse nuclear events on society, the more news articles related to nuclear energy are published. Interestingly, such events show a significant positive relationship with the number news articles on nuclear energy in Denmark and The Netherlands, but not in The United Kingdom. This suggests that avers events affect public opinion most in countries with low adoption of nuclear energy. This can explain why the Danish and Dutch governments remain an opponent of nuclear energy because of their higher public sensitivity for perceived risks of nuclear energy, contrary to the the United Kingdom.