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Wednesday, March 27 • 16:00 - 16:30
The role of proximity in determining public support for nuclear energy

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Nuclear energy has become increasingly popular as an alternative to air polluting fossil fuel technologies since the early 2000s. In particular, scientists predict that those who live in close proximity to nuclear facilities are more likely to support using this energy source than those who live farther away. In this study, we examine public support for nuclear energy across the United States as a result of the geographic proximities of stakeholders to nuclear power facilities. We seek to determine whether proximity to nuclear power sources (e.g. nuclear power plants and/or test sites) is associated with the public's perception of nuclear power. Theoretically, this project will aid our collective understanding of problem identification. Practically, this relationship could help inform decision makers about where support or resistance to using nuclear energy may be concentrated to allow more targeted efforts to inform citizens about the safety features and benefits of this resource. Knowing the influence of local conditions on public support for policy action is particularly important as energy policies are primarily the domain of local and state governments. We utilize Geographical Information Systems to quantify the distances between survey respondents and various nuclear power sites to attempt to determine the effect individuals' proximity to nuclear power sources has on their opinions about nuclear energy. The analyses reveal that proximity is a predictor of nuclear power perceptions, and the implications of these findings are discussed.


Wednesday March 27, 2019 16:00 - 16:30 MDT
Bitterroot Room Red Lion Downtowner, 1800 W Fairview Ave

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