University of Twente Student Theses


Energizing the future of ‘Gen Z’ : public acceptance of nuclear energy translating to input for a communication strategy

Tangermann, Iris (2021) Energizing the future of ‘Gen Z’ : public acceptance of nuclear energy translating to input for a communication strategy.

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Abstract:Objectives: On behalf of a stakeholder operating in the nuclear energy sector, this study examines to what extent future employees and policymakers (higher-educated 18 to 25 year olds) accept nuclear energy. This study seeks to find out which factors influence their opinion towards nuclear energy. The ultimate goal of this study is to come up with a communication strategy that aligns with the wants and needs of Generation Z, to engage them in discussions concerning nuclear energy. Method: The study has been executed by means of two different methods. First, a general impression has been established by sending out a questionnaire, which measured the acceptance of nuclear energy. In total, 166 people participated in the questionnaire, of which 114 respondents fell in the target group of higher-educated 18 to 25 year olds. In total, 15 factors were expected to influence their opinion. Secondly, two focus groups were conducted to discuss the general findings of the survey (N=7). Additionally, six sorts of social media posts were shown to the participants, which they had to discuss. The discussions were used as input for a suitable communication strategy. Results: The study found that acceptance of nuclear energy and trade-off between energy sources are significantly influenced by attitude. In that turn, only risks of nuclear energy and trust have a significant impact on attitude. Area of living significantly influences the acceptance, and age and technical education significantly affect trade-offs. Conclusion: In the current study, it is found that knowledge of nuclear energy negatively affects the acceptance of nuclear energy. Furthermore, the knowledge of the risks of nuclear energy can be improved. Therefore, the communication strategy of companies that are operating in the nuclear energy sector should target this knowledge gap by enhancing their current social media posts by adding visual triggers which draw attention. To increase a company’s credibility, they should add multiple sources to support their claims. Key words: nuclear energy, acceptance, perception, communication strategy
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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