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Americans’ Love Of Nuclear Power Is On The Fritz

Americans’ Love Of Nuclear Power Is On The Fritz

A recent survey found that American attitudes toward the safety and efficiency of nuclear power may be shifting toward the negative. Just after the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, a Harris Interactive poll of 2,056 adults found that slightly more Americans now believe the risks of nuclear energy outweigh the benefits (41% to 40%).

This is a shift from 2009 and 2011 Harris polls which found that most Americans believed the benefits of nuclear power outweighed the risks (44% to 34% in 2009 and 42% to 37% in 2011).

Analysis of the poll results provided qualitative proof for the geographic and generational differences that many may suspect would divide Americans on this issue.

For instance, the South has the greatest concentration of nuclear power plants (almost twice as many as the East) and the highest percentage of adults who believe the benefits outweigh the risks (43%, compared to 33% in the East and 41% in the Midwest and West). Likewise those who identified as Baby Boomers (ages 48-66) or Matures (67 and older) are more likely to say benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks than both Echo Boomers (ages 18-35) and Gen Xers (ages 36-47) are.

I find this particular statistic to be quite interesting, considering older Americans have seen first hand the destruction that can be caused by nuclear power.

Even more promising than the slight increase in Americans now concerned about nuclear risks vs. benefits is the fact that over the last three years, approval of renewable energy technologies has stayed strong. Since 2009, the Harris poll found that a majority of Americans believe that the benefits of solar, wind, and geothermal energy vastly outweigh the risks.

Related Reading:

Nuclear Energy Just Doesn’t Make Sense!

Before Meltdown, GOP Mocked Concerns About Nuclear Safety [Video]

U.S. Regulators Weaken Safety Standards For Nuclear Power

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1:53AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Sad that two-thirds of the respondents to the companion poll are unaware of the great costs, both to health and the environment, present and future, are attendant with coal and oil. In fact, the hazards of nuclear power pale by comparison.

If you want a healthy Earth for future generations, you will need to end your affairs with coal and oil. And, in the near term, only nuclear has the capability of replacing such.

1:46AM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Sad that two-thirds of the respondents to the companion poll are unaware of the great costs, both to health and the environment, present and future, are attendant with coal and oil. In fact, the hazards of nuclear power pale by comparison.

If you want a healthy Earth for future generations, you will need to end your affairs with coal and oil. And, in the near term, only nuclear has the capability of replacing such.

1:41PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

abandon nuclear power itis too dangerous in the wrong hands

6:10AM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

THANKS FOR SHARING!

8:49PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

"No amount of radiation is safe..." - Kris C.

And, yet, far many more die from the mining and using of coal per kilowatt-hour produced, than from nuclear, including all accidents from both. And coal and oil plants use some water and have wasted heat too.

http://transitionvoice.com/2011/03/nukes-are-scary-but-dont-forget-coal/

By the way, you can make the case that absolutely no radiation may be good for an individual, but without radiation, there wouldn't be any life at all. Radiation is the engine of evolution.

There are 104 operation nuclear reactors in the US, providing 20% of all electric power. There are 600 coal plants in the US providing 54% of all electric power. 281 more nuclear plants would elliminate all 600 coal plants.

Wind power will help. Solar will be quite significant. The renewables do have the potential to provide the majority of our energy need but we will need to compliment these technologies with on demand carbon free production. Nuclear in one form or another would fit the bill.

8:18PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Yo, the #1 danger to the environment is global warming, not nuclear. Even if every nuclear reactor melted down today, it still wouldn't compare to what would happen if we ever hit the runaway greenhouse threshold. If more nuclear means less carbon, it should be entertained.

Chernobyl has been mentioned. The area may not be fit for man, but it's a freakin' natural refuge of wildlife now. Yes, the radiation is just as harmful to complex animal life as it is to us, but, that level of harm turns out to be far less to those species than the previously heavy presence of humans.

Just remember, if you demand all or nothing, you'll get it.

1:44AM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

One can find fault about each and every source of energy in this world. Every one! Yet, it helps to sustain life with its heat, light, warmth and sustenance. So, what energy source do we choose?
In the US, coal is number one. Natural Gas is number two.Those two sources contribute about 70% of all of the energy consumed in the US. Why those two? Reliability, safety, availability.
Nuclear is expensive and much riskier than the top two. But, is contributes no CO2.
Renewables, in all their forms is about 5% of the total. Wind & Solar are not reliable.
We have to decide what energy source we want. Obama says we want them all.

12:19PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

USA is a big country which have much room for solar panels and windmills...these would be the obvious desaster relieves in there.

9:53PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

I agree, it's about time! Nuclear proponents have always conned us into thinking it is safe, it is safe. Sure, it is safe, until it isn't! Just one Chernobyl, just one Japan makes nuclear power not worth the risk. And that's not even taking into consideration dealing with all the spent fuel being buried and not spoken of...It's a terrible thing that it took a tragedy to prove to the world that this is not something we want.

3:39AM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

No to nuclear power.

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