Energy Policy, Vol.120, 294-301, 2018
The changing risk perception towards nuclear power in China after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan
Gradual recovery of Chinese nuclear power industry and its increasingly important position in the world have created a need to understand how public attitudes towards nuclear power changed after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan (FNAJ). To address this need, we augment our previous work to include data from a new survey conducted three years after the FNAJ in the same study area. The results showed that three years after the FNAJ, factor knowledge continued to increase, whereas the other four perception factors acceptance, risk, benefit, and trust had recovered from their post-FNAJ changes to different degrees. The sensitive groups whose acceptance declined more after the FNAJ showed a greater increase as time passed. It was also found that median acceptable frequency for level 1 nuclear events (anomaly) showed little change from Survey 2 to Survey 3, while tolerance of more severe events (incidents and serious incidents) has decreased substantially. The overall recovery of public acceptance shown in our study was in line with the nuclear development trend of China. But more efforts still need to be made to improve nuclear safety and risk communication.