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Public reactions to large-scale energy technologies

Conference:

Abstract

In the first part of this article we discuss certain factors which are of influence upon the perception of risks connected to energy technologies. Several studies show that the catastrophic potential and the degree to which people consider negative consequences to be controllable are the main factors which influence this perception. In the next part differences between experts and lay people are discussed. Lay people are found to be bad at making numerical estimates of annual fatality frequencies of different causes of death. High frequencies appear to be underestimated and low frequencies overestimated. We conclude that differences between experts and lay people may be partly explained by the use of different concepts in talking about risks. In the third part attitudes on the use of nuclear energy and coal for the generation of electricity are discussed. Attitudes are determined by the observed probability of negative consequences rather than the expected probability of positive effects. It appears that the differences between the two groups are mostly not based on ideology but rather determined by a fairly rational trade-off of expected risks and advantages. The last part is concerned with the siting of nuclear power plants. The fact that people living near  More>>
Publication Date:
Feb 01, 1986
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
ESC-WR-86-02; CONF-861010-3
Reference Number:
ECN-86-470768; ERA-12-008313; EDB-87-010058
Resource Relation:
Conference: 13. world energy conference, Cannes, France, 5 Oct 1986
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; FOSSIL-FUEL POWER PLANTS; HAZARDS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; PUBLIC OPINION; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; SITE SELECTION; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; POWER PLANTS; THERMAL POWER PLANTS; 320900* - Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization- Education & Public Relations- (1980-); 200100 - Fossil-Fueled Power Plants- Power Plants & Power Generation; 290200 - Energy Planning & Policy- Economics & Sociology
OSTI ID:
6969862
Research Organizations:
Stichting Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland, Petten. Energie Studie Centrum; Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (Netherlands)
Country of Origin:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Availability:
Energie Studie Centrum ECN, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten, Netherlands.
Submitting Site:
HEDB
Size:
Pages: 21
Announcement Date:
Dec 01, 1986

Conference:

Citation Formats

Midden, C J, Daamen, D D, and Verplanken, B. Public reactions to large-scale energy technologies. Netherlands: N. p., 1986. Web.
Midden, C J, Daamen, D D, & Verplanken, B. Public reactions to large-scale energy technologies. Netherlands.
Midden, C J, Daamen, D D, and Verplanken, B. 1986. "Public reactions to large-scale energy technologies." Netherlands.
@misc{etde_6969862,
title = {Public reactions to large-scale energy technologies}
author = {Midden, C J, Daamen, D D, and Verplanken, B}
abstractNote = {In the first part of this article we discuss certain factors which are of influence upon the perception of risks connected to energy technologies. Several studies show that the catastrophic potential and the degree to which people consider negative consequences to be controllable are the main factors which influence this perception. In the next part differences between experts and lay people are discussed. Lay people are found to be bad at making numerical estimates of annual fatality frequencies of different causes of death. High frequencies appear to be underestimated and low frequencies overestimated. We conclude that differences between experts and lay people may be partly explained by the use of different concepts in talking about risks. In the third part attitudes on the use of nuclear energy and coal for the generation of electricity are discussed. Attitudes are determined by the observed probability of negative consequences rather than the expected probability of positive effects. It appears that the differences between the two groups are mostly not based on ideology but rather determined by a fairly rational trade-off of expected risks and advantages. The last part is concerned with the siting of nuclear power plants. The fact that people living near nuclear plants give a lower estimate of the risks than people living further away can be explained in a number of ways. Finally we discuss the problem of compensation for local residents and representatives in the choice of a site for a new plant. Our conclusion is that the usefulness of such strategies depends on the fact whether the perception of risks on a local level is based on feelings of insecurity or on an expert-like risk assessment. 4 figs., 35 refs.}
place = {Netherlands}
year = {1986}
month = {Feb}
}