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Exploring Public Acceptance of Nuclear Energy and Modelling Policy Instrument Impact : a Case Study in Gelderland

Hendrikse, N.N. (2023) Exploring Public Acceptance of Nuclear Energy and Modelling Policy Instrument Impact : a Case Study in Gelderland.

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Abstract:The objective of this study is to illustrate how the functioning of certain policy instruments are impacted, by the current public acceptance of nuclear energy. The case study focuses on the Province of Gelderland to achieve this understanding. Literature on the public acceptance theory highlighted various approaches that were merged into a single approach, including, personal demographical factors, contextual factors, and socio-psychological factors. Additionally, desk research showed that public acceptance should be identified and analysed in the first step of the policy process. This involves finding factors that influence public acceptance, analysing data, consult experts, engage stakeholders and understand the problem and its causes. Consulting experts was done through four interviews. In addition, survey data highlighted demographic influences on public acceptance, with gender and age playing significant roles, while factors like residence and education have minor effects. Trust and knowledge emerged as influential factors, and waste-related concerns stand as top perceived risks. Survey results showed an acceptance of nuclear energy among the majority of the participants Furthermore, scenario simulations of policy instrument implementation displayed an increase in trust, knowledge and economic aspects. Beside the policy instrument implementation, the simulations also revealed unforeseen effects of nuclear plant implementation, with a political crisis as the main concern. Limitations of the study encompass survey participant size, limited scope to nuclear energy within the energy mix and a simplified model compared to reality. Recommendations involve enhancing the simulated socio-technical model, investigating public participation, further exploring policy implementation, quantifying nuclear energy's role in the energy mix. Ultimately, these findings contribute to an informed understanding of public acceptance, guiding policymakers and stakeholders in their decision-making processes and how to further investigate the topic.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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