Nuclear energy has been regarded as a controversial energy option to reduce carbon emissions, alleviate global warming and build a low-carbon society due to the public perception of nuclear energy. Public perception and acceptance are vital to the development of nuclear energy. However, the public has many misunderstandings and misconceptions about nuclear energy. To change the way that the public view nuclear energy, this paper attempts to build an engagement model that shifts from a oneway information transfer with a focus on changing people’s minds in a single interaction, to a two-way dialogue rooted in listening, respect, and building long-term relationships that would shift understanding on a scientific issue over time. Based on a survey conducted on residents in China, we offer a research hypothesis that describes the connection between public engagement, public knowledge, perceived risk, perceived trust and environmental concern. This study indicated that public knowledge is positively related to environmental concern and public engagement but not significantly related to perceived risks. Meanwhile, this study also demonstrated the positive effect of environmental concern, perceived trust on public engagement. Centered on the results, we make corresponding policy to increase public engagement.