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Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident



Using cross-country data, this paper investigates how freedom of media influenced views regarding the security of nuclear energy after the Fukushima accident in Japan. Key findings are: (1) citizens are less likely to agree that nuclear power plants are properly secured against accidents with the presence of a free media and higher levels of freedom of expression; and (2) freedom of expression and free media are positively associated with the presence of nuclear plants. These findings indicate that sufficient information leads citizens to both understand the risk of nuclear energy and to accept the existence of nuclear plants.