After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011, an international review of nuclear safety indicated that two of the three nuclear power plants (NPPs) operating in Taiwan were listed as the most dangerous in the world. To understand the perception of NPP risks by the public in Taiwan and their attitudes regarding a planned fourth NPP after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011, a study was conducted in August 2011. A sample of 2819 individuals responded to the survey, with 66% perceiving that Taiwan's safety management of NPPs was inferior to Japan's, while 40% perceived a higher possibility of nuclear accidents like that in Japan. On average, a 'safe' distance of 94 km from an NPP was expected. 56% opposed the planned fourth NPP, with females (adjusted odd ratios (aOR) 2.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.71-2.41), residence near the planned fourth NPP (aOR/CI 13.90/7.79-24.80), distrust of safety management (aOR/CI 1.98/1.45-2.69) and emergency planning (aOR/CI 1.89/1.49-2.40) as the main determinants. Others included those who expected larger safe distances from an NPP (trend test, p <0.001), perceived excess cancer risks of living within 30 km of an NPP (aOR/CI 2.74/2.02-3.71), and projection of no electric shortage without NPPs (aOR/CI 1.93/1.50-2.49). Given that Taiwan's large population lives close to the existing NPPs and long-term concerns about the safety of these nuclear plants, the Fukushima incident in Japan likely augmented public risk perceptions on nuclear power in general and on the planned fourth NPP.
- Fukushima nuclear disasters
- Nuclear plant
- Risk perception
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Waste Management and Disposal