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Nuclear power in Australia: A comparative analysis of public opinion regarding climate change and the Fukushima disaster

Bird, Deanne K., Haynes, Katharine, van den Honert, Rob, McAneney, John and Poortinga, Wouter 2014. Nuclear power in Australia: A comparative analysis of public opinion regarding climate change and the Fukushima disaster. Energy Policy 65 , pp. 644-653. 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.09.047

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Abstract

A nation-wide survey was conducted in 2010 to investigate the Australian public's attitudes to nuclear power in relation to climate change and in comparison to other energy alternatives. The survey showed a majority of respondents (42%) willing to accept nuclear power if it would help tackle climate change. Following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Complex in Japan, an event triggered by the 11 March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, it was expected that support for nuclear power in Australia would change. In light of this, a follow-up survey was conducted in 2012. Indeed, the post-Fukushima results show a majority of respondents (40%) were not willing to accept nuclear power as an option to help tackle climate change, despite the fact that most Australians still believed nuclear power to offer a cleaner, more efficient option than coal, which currently dominates the domestic production of energy. Expanding the use of renewable energy sources (71%) remains the most popular option, followed by energy-efficient technologies (58%) and behavioural change (54%). Opposition to nuclear power will continue to be an obstacle against its future development even when posed as a viable solution to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change; Public attitudes; Energy futures
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-4215
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2014 14:02
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/52058

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