Risk communication and attitude change: Taiwan's national debate over nuclear power

Jin Tan Liu, V. Kerry Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This article reports the first analysis of the effects of a national risk-communication program that disseminated the facts about the risks associated with nuclear power plants. It relies upon a unique set of circumstances in Taiwan. The state-operated power corporation sponsored a national debate in an effort to promote greater public consensus on the need for a fourth nuclear power plant. This analysis uses statedrisk perceptions and attitudes toward the plant to evaluate the effect of the debate. The results are based on a panel of households interviewed before and after the debate. They suggest that the debate did not reduce respondents' perceived risks from nuclear power and had little perceptible effect on the attitude changes of our sample. The only systematic influences detected on the observed attitude changes imply that respondents reacted counter to the debate's objectives, and thus the debate seems likely to continue to erode support for the new plant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-349
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Risk and Uncertainty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • nuclear power risk
  • risk attitudes
  • risk communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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