The public acceptance of fusion energy research in Europe: results from a cross-national survey study

Christian Oltra, Christopher Robert Jones, Ana Prades

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There is growing appreciation, among policy makers and industry alike, that understanding and fostering ‘public acceptance’ is a central to the commercial deployment of low carbon energy technologies and associated infrastructure in Europe. While currently an experimental technology, fusion energy has the potential to be such low carbon energy option. The ongoing research, demonstration and deployment of commercial fusion energy will involve significant public investment from the member states of fusion development programmes and will imply large-scale infrastructure, the socio-technical embedment of which will be influenced by the public and stakeholders. Methods Here we present the findings of an online survey, conducted on nationally representative samples (N = 900 per nation) from 21 European countries as part of the EUROFusion-SES project. Results We focus our analysis on cross-country and other group differences in self-reported measures of perceived benefits and costs, positive and negative affect, attitudes, acceptance and support of fusion energy research. Second, using a multivariate, socio-psychological approach, we examine the individual-level determinants of people’s acceptance of fusion energy. Discussion We consider the implications of the findings for the social acceptance of fusion energy in different European countries, including implications for programmes of pubic engagement and communication.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2019
EventInternational Conference on Environmental Psychology - Plymouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sept 20196 Sept 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Environmental Psychology
Abbreviated titleICEP 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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