Some of the key findings are discussed of psychological research on the perception of risks and attitudes with respect to the use of uranium and coal for electricity generation. It appears that attitudes are mostly not based on ideology but rather determined by a trade-off of expected risks and advantages. Lay estimates of probabilities are compared with expert judgements. In the last section attitudes of people living near existing or planned power plants are analyzed. Serious doubts are raised about the possibilities to give residents economic compensation for exposure to risks. 1 fig., 29 refs.