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POLL: Americans’ support for nuclear power remains strong

By: Power Engineering |

A strong and growing majority of Americans holds a favorable opinion of nuclear power, according to a poll released this week from the Nuclear Energy Institute. Those strongly in favor of nuclear energy outweighed those opposed by more than two-to-one.

In the national telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, 68 percent of respondents reported being in favor of nuclear energy, up three points from a poll taken in September 2012. More than 80 percent of those surveyed cited reliability, affordability, and clean air as the most important considerations in energy production, and three-fifths strongly associated nuclear energy with those considerations. Additionally, a full seventy-three percent of respondents reported believing that nuclear plants in the U.S. are safe and secure.

Despite the avowed interest in clean air, and re-emergence of climate change as a hot social and political issue, only 40 percent of respondents strongly associated nuclear energy with being a climate change solution, despite the fact that the technology currently produces 63 percent of the carbon-free electricity in the United States. With 71 reactors under construction worldwide and hundreds more planned, 75 percent felt the U.S. should take a leading role in developing nuclear power technologies in international markets.