Skip to main content

Color Him Surprised on the Popularity of Nuclear Energy

Just in case you thought Canadians were different from Americans:

Ontarians favor nuclear power by a margin of more than two to one, a new public opinion survey suggests.

The Forum Research poll found that 54 per cent are comfortable with atomic energy compared to 23 per cent who oppose it, while 23 per cent had no opinion.

That’s 77 percent in favor or non-committal. I should add that this is the province that has nuclear energy facilities –  I’ve read that the other provinces are less in favor of nuclear energy. I haven’t really seen it borne out by polls, though support does run under Ontario. This poll, from Abacus Data in 2011, shows all Canadians supporting nuclear energy (or non-committal) at 56 percent, which is not terrible.

Now, this survey was done soon after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, so some of its findings may have faded with time. It asks explicitly whether views on nuclear energy have worsened as a result of the accident. Forty-nine percent said yes, 43 percent said no. That suggests to me that Canadians, like Americans, made the distinction between their industry – and the people’s relative faith in it - and that of another country. I suspect that the number would go up in 2012 and 2013.

Back in Ontario:

“I hate to use this analogy, but it’s not as radioactive an issue as it used to be,” [pollster Forum Research] president Lorne Bozinoff said Tuesday.

“This is a new generation of people and they weren’t around at the height of the anti-nuclear stuff,” said Bozinoff, adding he was “surprised” at the level of acceptance of nuclear energy in Ontario.

Funny guy. it’s just a guess on his part and his is as good as mine, but I also imagine that the manifest benefits of nuclear energy in Ontario – good jobs and economic development – help its standing. For me, the surprising aspect of looking into this is to find that Canada, despite the concentration of its nuclear energy industry in Ontario, probably could expand westward based just on public opinion.

---

Another story in The Toronto Star is headlined “Halloween spirit has turned tasteless.” But if it isn’t tasteless, it isn’t Halloween. Maybe Americans and Canadians are different from one another.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

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…