Nuclear safety attracts many concerns from society especially after Fukushima accident. In recent years, although nuclear safety system has been continuously improved on the aspects of design functions, safety standards and safety assessment methods, etc., the public panic has not been reduced correspondingly. In some countries and regions, the public nuclear panic has a strong impact on the sustainable development of nuclear energy, which has been widely recognized by nuclear industries worldwide. In this paper, we studied the nuclear public panic from three aspects with the analysis of psychological and sociological methods, including: (1) Discussing the source of nuclear panic in the sense of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and psychoanalysis; (2) Systemically studying the irrational behaviors in nuclear accidents and the public nuclear culture with cognitive theory; (3) Giving out the general model of public nuclear panic. In the last, some suggestions of nuclear risk perception and communication were also shown as reference, which are significant for the future work.

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