Polls Show Americans Have Fallen Out With Nuclear Energy

Japan is still struggling to control nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, with new developments arising every day. But, what kind of fallout has America experienced from the Japanese disaster? Predictably, fervor for new nuclear energy has dramatically declined.

Three recent polls indicate that Americans’ support for new nuclear construction is down. Way down. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released today, 53% of Americans are opposed to building more nuclear plants, although most support existing nuclear energy production.

In another poll by the Civil Society Institute (CSI), only 46% of Americans were in favor of expanding nuclear energy. Previous figures had support at 62%. Respondents to a USA Today/Gallup are similarly disenchanted by nukes. 53% of those surveyed are against new nuclear plants and 60% are against nuclear power plants in their community. Curiously, roughly 80% of Americans feel existing plants are either very or somewhat safe. 

No doubt that once Japan’s crisis is out of the headlines, the number of Americans who oppose new nuclear energy or believe that existing nuclear plants should be closed will drop.  The nuclear industry, with its 104 nuclear energy plants in 31 states, is counting on it.