Skip to main content

Gallup: "A Majority Believe Nuclear Power Plants Are Safe"

We've reviewed polls from Pew (not good), Harris Interactive (better) and now comes Gallup:
Despite concerns about a possible nuclear disaster in the U.S., 58% of Americans think nuclear power plants in the U.S. are safe, while 36% say they are not. Americans are divided on the issue of increasing the number of nuclear power plants in this country, but these attitudes have not changed from 10 years ago.
A little more, on the question of building more nuclear energy plants in this country:
Despite all that has changed over the last 10 years, responses to this question did not change materially between its prior asking in May 2001 and the current poll, though it may be possible that attitudes changed between these intervals in unknown ways. Still, this finding suggests there has been no substantial diminution in support for nuclear power plant construction over this past decade -- despite the current, and highly visible, nuclear plant problems in Japan.
The numbers on this questions are 46-48. 


I wonder if the premise I've proposed about Pew and Harris - that support for nuclear energy would rise again after the events in Japan are resolved - will hold true here. I hope Gallup tries this poll again in a few months to find out.
Gallup's conclusion, provisional of course:
It may be months or years before the final impact of the Japanese disaster on American attitudes toward nuclear power can be assessed. In the short term, Americans are concerned about the dangers of a nuclear crisis in this country. But Gallup's most recent survey suggests that support for nuclear power may be more stable than some might think. A majority of Americans believe nuclear power plants in the U.S. are safe, and attitudes toward increasing their numbers do not appear to have changed in comparison with a previous measure 10 years ago.

Comments

jimwg said…
Again, now is the time for the nuclear industry to step outside in public and educate the masses of how reactors operate; what radiation is and can and cannot do; give perspectives and objectivity of the issues occuring during this event, and rigoriously cite that it occured NOT because of the regular operation of the plant. Because of misleading headlines and banners there are too many people out there who relate the quake's deaths and destruction to the nuclear plants! Don't let Hollywood, celebs and the media do the "educating" for you!

James Greenidge
Anonymous said…
Right now, we are between a rock and a hard place--- where the probable and possibly best choice for energy in the US is nuclear energy, despite the recent crisis in Japan. What can the United States learn from Japan's disaster? How can we prevent such a tragedy here?

Check out "Nuclear Energy: Lessons from Japan": http://bit.ly/

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…