Influence of trust in institutions on public acceptance of nuclear power from a historical context across nuclear countries

Mlejnkova, P. and Patelli, E. and Grundy, C. and Hodgson, Z.; Walls, Lesley and Revie, Matthew and Bedford, Tim, eds. (2016) Influence of trust in institutions on public acceptance of nuclear power from a historical context across nuclear countries. In: Risk, Reliability and Safety. CRC Press/Balkema, GBR. ISBN 9781138029972

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Several studies have tried to determine what is behind peoples' attitudes to different energy sources and their overall rather negative opinion on nuclear power. The issue of public perception of nuclear power has been going on for decades. But recently with the support of UK governmental nuclear industrial strategy to promote and support nuclear growth it gained even greater interest. Nuclear power is negatively influenced by events from the past such as nuclear accidents and connection of nuclear power with cold war and the use of nuclear bombs. As one of many other factors, the level of trust in authorities is perceived to influence the opposition or support for nuclear power. This study aims to analyze data on trust in four main institutions (government, businesses, media and non-governmental organizations) from a historical perspective in several nuclear countries and find evidence for previous statement. Structural Equation Modelling and Multiple Regression Analysis were used to analyze data and results were compared. Structural Equation modeling is known to be a technique for large samples and did not provide very meaningful results. Multiple regression analysis did not prove that combination of independent variables is significant predictor of support for nuclear power although around 55% of variance in support for nuclear was explained in UK as well as USA case. Large sample size is required to authenticate model and obtain more robust results. It is likely that Multiple Regression analysis will be used for future data analysis when more data are obtained and results will be compared.