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Modeling individual preferences towards nuclear energy

Contu, Davide (2017) Modeling individual preferences towards nuclear energy. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis investigates preferences for nuclear energy and the determinants of its social acceptance, through a combination of methods from Environmental Economics and Environmental Psychology. In particular, we use stated preference surveys to investigate the social costs of nuclear energy in three different contexts: 1) Italy, a country that currently has no nuclear power plants in operation, and twice expressed its disapproval through referenda; 2) United Kingdom (UK), a country with nuclear energy; and 3) the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country that plans to introduce nuclear energy by 2020. The determinants of social acceptance of nuclear energy are assessed in each of these different contexts. We investigate preferences for current nuclear technology as well as preferences for a new advanced 4th generation nuclear energy technology. In addition, we analyse the effects of having a transient population on support for nuclear energy. Moreover, this thesis investigates a number of methodological issues pertaining to stated preference methods: 1) heuristics in choice modeling; 2) combination of choice modeling and structural equation modeling; and 3) links between propensity to contribute in contingent valuation questions and choices within the choice experiment tasks. Overall, the thesis aims to contribute to the debate on public acceptability of nuclear energy after the Fukushima accident. In addition, it provides a framework to model individual preferences towards energy sources and assess departures from fully compensatory decision processes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Davide Contu
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Mourato, Susana

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