Versita

SWITCHING POLITICAL NUCLEAR ENERGY PREFERENCES, CHANGING PUBLIC ATTITUDE

Dainius Genys, Ričardas Krikštolaitis
Keywords: Public perception, dynamics, nuclear energy, cluster analysis, Lithuania ,

Abstract

The aim of the paper is twofold - to cover the latest nuclear energy politics events and reveal the dynamics in public perception of nuclear energy by explaining the distribution of attitudes among two notable social groups in Lithuania. The paper is based on two empirical research studies (public polls) carried out in 2013 and 2017. The paper consists of four parts. It starts with brief review of main happenings in recent nuclear politics and general tendencies of public perception of nuclear energy. Then, it presents cluster analysis of both 2013 and 2017 polls, in which respondents were divided into two groups based on income, education and occupation. Lastly, the paper presents findings and discusses the dynamics of public perception. Comparing the 2017 data with the results of 2013, three main tendencies can be distinguished. First, society became better informed and more critical. Second, the cluster analysis divided respondents in two almost identical groups as in 2013 (with minor peculiarities). Third, the general tendency presupposes the breaking of the irrelevance of nuclear energy as an important factor for energy security in public perception.