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Changes in risk perceptions before and after nuclear accidents; Evidence from Japan

原子力事故の前後で見るリスク認知の変化; 日本の事例から

西川 雅史*; 加藤 尊秋*; 本間 俊充; 高原 省五

Nishikawa, Masashi*; Kato, Takaaki*; Homma, Toshimitsu; Takahara, Shogo

We quantitatively analyzed changes in residents' perceptions of the net benefits derived from the Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Power Station (KK) before and after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant (FD). From this analysis, we found that KK's perceived net benefits declined after the FD accident. This decline resulted from changes in respondents' relative weightings of KK's costs and benefits. We also found that residents living near nuclear facilities are more concerned about health risks from nuclear accidents than the likelihood of such accidents caused by human error. We suggest that a more effective policy entails changing people's relative weighting of nuclear facilities' costs and benefits by protecting lives through enhanced evacuation planning and post-disaster support for rehabilitation, although Japan's current nuclear power policy aims to assuage people's risk perceptions by reducing the probability of nuclear accidents to zero.

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