Objectives: Based on ＂not in my back yard＂ (NIMBY) and cognitive dissonance theory, we examined the nuclear risk perceptions and support of nuclear power generation for citizens who lived in ＂neighborhood,＂ ＂potentially affected,＂ and ＂distant＂ areas. Methods: We conducted a randomized telephone survey among Taiwan citizens in 2010 and 2011, and used structural equation modeling to compare the different result patterns among the three areas. Results: Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred, the relationship between arguments purporting the disadvantages of nuclear power generation and risk perceptions for citizens in potentially affected areas was the strongest among the three areas, and the relationship for citizens in neighborhood areas was weaker than citizens in potentially affected areas. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, however, the mean values of risk perceptions and support of nuclear power generation decreased, while the correlation between the risk perceptions and support of nuclear power generation increased. Conclusions: The major arguments purporting the disadvantages of nuclear power generation, which affected risk perceptions, were based on environment- and health-related concerns, such as ecologic damage, nuclear waste, and the threat of special disasters. After the nuclear power facilities were installed, local citizens had little cognitive dissonance if there were no serious disasters over a long period of time and the government conducted appropriate safety control measures. Therefore, arguments purporting the disadvantages of nuclear power generation had little influence on risk perceptions. Authorities should implement corresponding strategies to alleviate cognitive dissonance amongst the citizens.