Nuclear energy is now and has long been well supported by the American people. A recent poll conducted by Bisconti Research and Quest Global Research showed that a full 82 percent of respondents agreed that “We should take advantage of all low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear, hydro and renewable energy, to produce the electricity we need while limiting greenhouse gas emissions.”
But an interesting finding may have something to do with muting that support and it’s something that you – and you and you – can do something about. Here’s the relevant bit:
The survey also highlights various perception gaps where the public holds an opinion contrary to the facts, consistently finding, for example, that people greatly underestimate support for nuclear energy among their neighbors.
While 65 percent personally favor nuclear energy, only 31 percent of the public believes that the majority of people in their community hold the same view. Forty percent believe that a majority opposes nuclear energy, and 6 percent believe people are divided evenly on its use. Another 24 percent do not know. Bisconti said this perception gap could contribute to the view that nuclear energy is not supported as broadly as it is and might affect public policy accordingly.
That’s a problem. Now, it’s definitely true that nuclear energy is not a topic that will turn up at the local bar or family cookout on any kind of regular basis – let’s not be silly about this – but the spectre of carbon emissions and climate change has become a topic. Nuclear energy is then natural to bring into the conversation because of its emission-free nature. And it produces energy non-stop, which wind and solar cannot do. And one facility produces as much as or more electricity than its fossil fuel cousins.
NEI produces a series of state fact sheets that can get you up to speed on how nuclear energy contributes to your state. Go to this page and select your state. The sheets are nicely formatted pdfs, so you can print off as many as you want. You will want to look at your state fact sheet even if your state has no nuclear facility because the sheets provide information on companies that have dealings with facilities or a connection with the industry.
It’s also worth pointing out that states without facilities – well, not Alaska and Hawaii – belong to a regional grid that will almost certainly have nuclear energy plants. EPA has a map to show the grid segments.
Enough. The idea is simple – to raise the number of people who know that other people support nuclear energy so that they may openly support it as well and understand that it is widely supported. Which it is. So that’s the assignment. So – hop to it.