To increase acceptance of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) by local communities, some countries offer those communities economic incentives. This study analyzes potential residents’ preferences for economic incentives provided during the construction and operation of NPPs in South Korea. This study uses stated preference data through a discrete choice experiment and the mixed logit model to reflect the heterogeneity of respondents’ preferences. The analysis results confirm heterogeneity by various incentive types, and show that respondents consider the distance between the NPP and the residential area as well as reduced electricity bills as crucial attribute of new NPPs. In addition, the result for the marginal willingness to be near to an NPP shows that reduced electricity bills, construction of new public facilities, and increased residents’ participation are relatively more effective incentives than job creation or solar panel installation. In particular, increased residents’ participation could greatly improve acceptance although it is not a direct form of financial support. The simulation analysis results indicate that acceptance of NPPs rapidly reduces as distance to the plant becomes shorter, although acceptance can change within a 0–30% range depending on the level of incentives. Several policy implications are suggested for policymakers based on the results.
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