Event Title

Can communication of uncertainties increase public participation intention? The case of decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Belgium

Session

Energy Efficiency Engineering

Description

After their operational time is finished, the nuclear installations must be shut down and decommissioned. This makes decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) a pertinent energy-related matter since most of the nuclear reactors built during nuclear renaissance will soon reach the end of their operational life. Such regulatory matters require consultation with the public and their involvement in the decision-making process. But to what extent is the public willing to participate and how does communication of uncertainty influence this willingness?

This paper addresses these research questions by analysing data generated from a large-scale public opinion survey in Belgium (N= 1060) by using Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). The method of this study consists of an experimental design where participants are divided into experimental or control group. The experimental group receives information about the uncertainties in addition to introduction to decommissioning, whereas the control group receives introduction to decommissioning only.

Based on the arguments of Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT) and Uncertainty Management Theory (UMT) we hypothesize that respondents that will receive introduction about decommissioning of NPPs which contains uncertainty information, will be more likely to be willing to participate in decision-making procedures than those respondents that will receive introduction text only. However, this effect can be moderated by the impact of emotions that uncertainty communication can generate.

The findings of this study will contribute to studies on the field of energy policy by identifying the extent to which the public is willing to participate on energy-related procedures, as well as the factors that influence this participation intention.

Proceedings Editor

Edmond Hajrizi

ISBN

978-9951-550-47-5

Location

UBT Kampus, Lipjan

Start Date

30-10-2021 12:00 AM

End Date

30-10-2021 12:00 AM

DOI

10.33107/ubt-ic.2021.312

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Oct 30th, 12:00 AM Oct 30th, 12:00 AM

Can communication of uncertainties increase public participation intention? The case of decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Belgium

UBT Kampus, Lipjan

After their operational time is finished, the nuclear installations must be shut down and decommissioned. This makes decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) a pertinent energy-related matter since most of the nuclear reactors built during nuclear renaissance will soon reach the end of their operational life. Such regulatory matters require consultation with the public and their involvement in the decision-making process. But to what extent is the public willing to participate and how does communication of uncertainty influence this willingness?

This paper addresses these research questions by analysing data generated from a large-scale public opinion survey in Belgium (N= 1060) by using Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). The method of this study consists of an experimental design where participants are divided into experimental or control group. The experimental group receives information about the uncertainties in addition to introduction to decommissioning, whereas the control group receives introduction to decommissioning only.

Based on the arguments of Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT) and Uncertainty Management Theory (UMT) we hypothesize that respondents that will receive introduction about decommissioning of NPPs which contains uncertainty information, will be more likely to be willing to participate in decision-making procedures than those respondents that will receive introduction text only. However, this effect can be moderated by the impact of emotions that uncertainty communication can generate.

The findings of this study will contribute to studies on the field of energy policy by identifying the extent to which the public is willing to participate on energy-related procedures, as well as the factors that influence this participation intention.