Nuclear energy’s challenges are often described as having a significant social dimension, and important to explore how insights from the social sciences can be used to inform sector decision making. And wile the nuclear energy sector has not been entirely unaware of research in the social sciences, the approach to examining and absorbing this work, and subsequently using it, has been for the most part serendipitous.
NEA work on approaching nuclear energy from a social science perspective aims to build a bridge between nuclear engineering and the social sciences so that nuclear engineering academics and practitioners remain aware of work being carried out in the social sciences and avoid missing opportunities for institutional innovations that could prove to be critical for the future of nuclear energy. There is both an important intellectual and practical contribution to be made in this area.
This report is based upon an in-depth analysis of research work and published literature on risk perception and communication , public participation in policy and decision making and the evolution of public opinion on nuclear energy. It will be of interest to policy makers, governmental agencies and industry. Additionally, members of civil society and various stakeholders eager to learn more about social issues related to the development of nuclear energy will find relevant information in this report.