Right answers and right-wrong answers: Sources of information influencing knowledge of nuclear-related information
Surveys in 2008 and 2009 asked almost 6000 United States residents to indicate their knowledge about the use of nuclear and other sources of energy, and the disposition of nuclear waste. Less than 10% of respondents knew where spent commercial nuclear fuel is stored. With regard to knowledge about fuel for electrical energy, respondents overestimated solar and wind use and underestimated coal use. These responses are consistent with mass media coverage of these issues. The mass media were the source of information for the vast majority of respondents. However, the likelihood of right answers to our questions increased as reliance on the mass media decreased, and it increased with use of books, magazines, personal contacts and the web. Educated affluent white males with strong preferences for nuclear energy disproportionately were knowledgeable. These observations demonstrate the daunting challenge of providing information about subjects that are largely distant and disconnected from the public's lives. The Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, state and local health, environmental and energy agencies, and facility owners and operators have huge domestic political, national security and economic stakes in improving the factual grounding of public reactions to energy production and waste management choices.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Joan Costa-Font & Elias Mossialos & Caroline Rudisill, 2009. "Optimism and the perceptions of new risks," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 27-41, January.
- Greenberg, Michael, 2009. "Energy sources, public policy, and public preferences: Analysis of US national and site-specific data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3242-3249, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:44:y:2010:i:3:p:130-140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.