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    US-Korea Nuclear Roundtable
    The Problem of Public Acceptance for the Global Nuclear Industry
    August 09, 2012

    The need to engage and educate the public about nuclear energy and its associated benefits and risks has always been a vital task for the nuclear industry, and is even more so now following the Fukushima accident. Throughout the world, public concern over the safety of nuclear plants remains a significant issue; for instance, even where there is recognition of the value of nuclear energy, local plants are often viewed with suspicion and doubt—according to a Hyundai Research Institute poll, while nearly 90% of South Koreans surveyed agreed that nuclear energy is a necessary major source of electricity, almost half also responded that they would oppose nearby plant construction. The keys to overcoming public opposition to nuclear energy lie firmly in several principles: advance studies, early public education, sustained and frequent engagement, and dissemination of information that is based on sound research. One case that has been incredibly successful in engaging and educating the public is the UAE, which performed significant public opinion research well before any nuclear plant construction. Even prior to the decision to pursue nuclear power, the UAE began a program to educate the public about nuclear energy. The broad measures taken by the UAE government should be considered vital steps for any country seeking to pursue long-term civil nuclear development.