Redefining Nuclear : Exploring Stigma, Climate Change, and the Adoption of Nuclear Power in Southeast Asia Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/gm80j1200

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  • Key Words: Climate change, Nuclear Power, Energy Security, Safety Culture
  • Nuclear energy is very efficient and cost-effective, but the stigma attached to it hinders its expansion around the world. However, with rising concerns over climate change and the fact that nuclear energy effectively has zero greenhouse gas emissions, there is an opportunity for nuclear to be more acceptable as a “green” source of energy. Since many Southeast Asian nations are interested in nuclear power and are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, an exploration of the region’s climate vulnerability, socioeconomics, and public perceptions of nuclear is useful in teasing out any positive effect that climate change is having on the acceptance of nuclear power. While pressures from climate change are encouraging the region to ease its dependence on fossil fuels, socioeconomic factors are the main drivers of nuclear power ambitions in Southeast Asia as nations are interested in nuclear for its potential to rein in the costs of energy production. Regarding public perceptions, concerns over exposure to radiation and a lack of trust in the potential management of nuclear power in the region signify that the public remains skeptical and guarded toward nuclear power despite the pressures of climate change.
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