Skip to main content

Nuclear Energy Is Better Supported than Many Know – And How You Can Help Them Know

trend-graph 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.

Comments

Brian Freeman said…
Can you guys put out some information on pollutants other then CO2? The fact is that a lot of people in this country do not care about CO2 so we are only appealing to certain people when we discuss that they do not put out CO2.

How about SOx, NOx, and Mercury? The fact sheets you reference do not even mention these pollutants and they are very negative to the atmosphere and people.

If your only goal is to appeal to environmentalists then please carry on.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…