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Moravian Geographical Reports

The Journal of Institute of Geonics AS CR, v.v.i.


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Distance matters. Assessing socioeconomic impacts of the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic: Local perceptions and statistical evidence

1 / Jiří Malý1 / Martin Ouředníček2 / Jiří Nemeškal2

1 Department of Environmental Geography, Institute of Geonics, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

2 Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

© 2016 Bohumil Frantál et al., published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Moravian Geographical Reports. Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 2–13, ISSN (Online) 1210-8812, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mgr-2016-0001, April 2016

Publication History

Received:
2015-09-21
Accepted:
2016-02-15
Published Online:
2016-04-09

Abstract

The effect of geographical distance on the extent of socioeconomic impacts of the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic is assessed by combining two different research approaches. First, we survey how people living in municipalities in the vicinity of the power plant perceive impacts on their personal quality of life. Second, we explore the effects of the power plant on regional development by analysing long-term statistical data about the unemployment rate, the share of workers in the energy sector and overall job opportunities in the respective municipalities. The results indicate that the power plant has had significant positive impacts on surrounding communities both as perceived by residents and as evidenced by the statistical data. The level of impacts is, however, significantly influenced by the spatial and social distances of communities and individuals from the power plant. The perception of positive impacts correlates with geographical proximity to the power plant, while the hypothetical distance where positive effects on the quality of life are no longer perceived was estimated at about 15 km. Positive effects are also more likely to be reported by highly educated, young and middle-aged and economically active persons, whose work is connected to the power plant.

Keywords: nuclear power plant impacts; spatial analysis; risk perceptions; geographical distance; social distance; Dukovany; Czech Republic

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