Exploring public perceptions of benefits and risks, trust, and acceptance of nuclear energy in Thailand and Vietnam: A qualitative approach

Shirley S. Ho*, Tsuyoshi Oshita, Jiemin Looi, Alisius D. Leong, Agnes S. F. Chuah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding public perception is critical to developing effective policies for nuclear energy. This study conducted focus group discussions with the Thai and Vietnamese public to understand their trust in potential stakeholders, benefit perception, risk perception, and acceptance of nuclear energy. The participants in both countries preferred economic benefits, such as boosting national development to environmental benefits. Participants perceived nuclear accidents as a major risk, but such perceptions were sometimes based on misunderstandings. The findings suggested that participants evaluated trust toward relevant stakeholders based on their expertise, transparency, and empathy. Overall, participants indicated that their respective countries were not ready for nuclear energy: The Thais thought that their government should heighten public education on nuclear energy, while the Vietnamese thought that their country lacked expertise for managing nuclear power plants. This study also highlights the theoretical and policy implications for nuclear energy development in Southeast Asia. Directions for future studies were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • Nuclear energy
  • Public perception
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Focus group
  • Trust

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