Modeling individual preferences for energy sources: The case of IV generation nuclear energy in Italy
The planned re-introduction of nuclear energy in Italy was abandoned in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Twenty years earlier, soon after the Chernobyl accident, Italians had also voted against nuclear energy. However, a new nuclear energy technology, i.e. fourth generation, is under research and development. This paper investigates its social acceptance by means of a robust methodology, employing 1) choice experiments, 2) structural equation modeling and 3) information treatments within an online nation-wide survey. Results show a great deal of preference heterogeneity: the majority of the sampled respondents oppose new nuclear plants in Italy, with some not willing to accept any monetary compensation at all. However, another segment of respondents, more confident that fourth generation nuclear energy goals will be achieved, show a modest support towards the implementation of new nuclear projects. Additional variables were found to affect opposition.
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