A proposal of new nuclear communication scheme based on qualitative research

Ekou Yagi, Makoto Takahashi, Masaharu Kitamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


An action research project called dialogue forum has been conducted in this study. The essential constituent of the project is a series of repetitive dialogue sessions carried out by lay citizens, nuclear experts, and a facilitator. One important feature of the project is that the study has been conducted based on the qualitative research methodology. The changes in opinions and attitude of the dialogue participants have been analyzed by an ethno-methodological approach. The observations are summarized as follows. The opinions of the citizen participants showed a significant shift from emotional to practical representations along with the progression of the dialogue sessions. Meanwhile, their attitude showed a marked tendency from problem-statement-oriented to problem-solving-oriented representation. On the other hand, the statements of the expert participants showed a significant shift from expert-based to citizen-based risk recognition and description, and their attitude showed a clear tendency from teaching-oriented to colearning-oriented thinking. These changes of opinions and attitude have been interpreted as a coevolving rather than a single process. It can be stressed that this type of change is most important for the reestablishment of mutual trust between the citizens and the nuclear experts. In this regard "The Process Model of Coevolution of Risk Recognition" has been proposed as a guideline for developing a new scheme of public communication concerning nuclear technology. The proposed process model of coevolution of risk recognition is regarded to be essential for appropriate relationship management between nuclear technology and society in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-459
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec


  • Action research
  • Attitude change
  • Coevolution
  • Mutual trust
  • Nuclear communication
  • Opinion change
  • Qualitative research
  • Repetitive dialogue forums
  • Risk recognition


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