Motives, opinions and communication – perspectives from the field study of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat, India

Author: M P Ram Mohan – Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India

Nuclear energy is expected to account for an increasingly important share of India’s power structure in the future. However, the sector faces a number of challenges including its social acceptability at the local level. In the past especially since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, local opposition resulted in significant project delays and additional costs. Surprisingly, very few studies so far studied public opinions and views towards nuclear energy in a fully satisfactory manner in India. The present study addresses these issues by adopting a mixed- methods –both qualitative and quantitative – approach to study local opinions and views towards nuclear energy, and communication between stakeholders in the vicinity of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat, India. The surrounding area of KAPS constitutes a fertile ground to study the scale of local opposition or support towards nuclear energy, as well as their underpinning motives. Strengthening the study, a “Level-1” incident occurred in KAPS Unit 1 in 2016, which resulted in the shutdown of its reactor, while two more units (3 & 4) are under construction since 2010. A series of Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were conducted in 10 villages located within a 10km radius of the nuclear plant, whose analysis is sought to help the production of relevant categories to inform the design of a quantitative survey (n=500).

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Stories
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices