April 23, 2018

POLICY PAPER: Public Opinion on Nuclear Energy

By Rainey Center

The Rainey Center is thrilled to announce the latest research from David Gargaro, Associate Fellow for Energy, Public Opinion on Nuclear Energy: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Political Ideology & Support for Nuclear Energy in the United States.

Gargaro writes, "Nuclear energy is complicated. Since the devastating 2011 tsunami-related reactor meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, public support of nuclear energy – as a means of supplying electricity – has slumped to a historical low, internationally. In 2016, as part of their annual Environment Poll, Gallup – who have tested on public support for nuclear energy since 1994 – reported for the first time that a majority of Americans now oppose nuclear energy. Having surveyed respondents just a few days before the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Plant, Gallup reported that support for nuclear energy stood at 57%, but as is detailed in their annual findings, support has successively fallen every year to a record low of just 44% in 2016.

Most alarmingly, a steep upturn of public opposition can be seen in 2015, in which 11% of respondents signaled staunch opposition towards nuclear energy as a means of supplying electricity. However, given the numerous benefits of producing electricity via means of nuclear energy, why is there such evident public opposition?"

Click here to read the full version.

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