Date Approved

5-29-2002

Embargo Period

5-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Litwin, M. Larry

Subject(s)

Nuclear industry--Public relations; Nuclear power plants--New Jersey

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

This study addresses resident and political opinion surrounding the Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations (SHCNGS) owned by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) by analyzing survey responses of residents and politicians living within 0-10 miles, 11-30 miles and from 31-50 miles from the stations in New Jersey and Delaware.

The study also investigates resident and political opinion since September 11, 2001, and how residents and politicians receive information about SHCNGS. In addition, resident and political opinion on four key issues facing the future existence of SHCNGS is also captured. Those four key issues are license renewal, environmental impact, safety/security, and radioactive waste storage. The major findings include:

Nearly 38% of residents are neutral on how they feel about the use of nuclear energy from SHCNGS. Seventy-two percent of the politicians either strongly favor or somewhat favor the use of energy from SHCNGS.

Nearly 75% of the residents somewhat or strongly agree when the original license of nuclear energy plants expire, plants should renew their license. Eighty-four percent of the politicians feel the same way.

Forty-six percent of residents believe radioactive waste can't be safely stored. Fifty-two percent of the politicians believe radioactive waste can be safely stored. Large don't know populations (22% resident and 25% politicians) exist in both survey groups.

Of the 39% of the residents whose perceptions have changed since September 11 concerning SHCNGS' security, 19% feel their perceptions have changed in a positive way and 20% feel their perceptions have changed in a negative way. Of the 50% of the politicians whose perceptions have changed, 61% have changed in a positive way while 39% have changed in a negative way.

Of the residents who recall seeing information about nuclear energy or nuclear generating stations, 13% got it from a news story, 3.5% from a brochure, 1% from a community letter and 9% from other sources. Of the politicians who do recall seeing information about nuclear energy, 46.7% came from a news story, 9.3% from a brochure, 10.7% from a community letter and 10.7% from other sources.

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