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Support for Construction of Nuclear Plants in the U.S. Drops Following Japan Crisis

4 years ago
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The nuclear crisis in Japan has had its impact on U.S. public opinion about construction of nuclear power plants here, with 47 percent now in opposition to building more plants compared to 44 percent who favor doing so, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 15. Nine percent were undecided.

Prior to the Japan disaster, a large majority of Americans supported the construction of nuclear power plants, peaking at 62 percent last year, and slipping only slightly to 57 percent in Gallup's last pre-crisis survey in early March.

Seventy percent of those surveyed said they now were a lot or a little more concerned about the prospects of a nuclear disaster in the U.S., with 39 percent saying they were "a lot more concerned." Twenty-seven percent said they were not more concerned.

Despite the noticeable drop in support for construction of nuclear plants in the latest poll, Gallup said, "It is not clear, however, what long-term impact the Japanese incident will have on Americans' support for nuclear power, which has been consistently above a majority and higher than it was a decade ago."

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Filed Under: Polls, Energy, Poll Watch
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7 Comments

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Desiresn215

Wow, as i read these comments, how foolish to say that Nukes are safe. Do we not have any feeling for human life. All the benefits of nuclear power don't outweigh the disaster that can happen if there is a melt down. Mind you whether its a earthquake or some human error at a plant. Its flat out disaster. How can we feel safe when we learn that these plant operators lie on their inspection reports. We learn that in Cali an earthquake response plan is not required. Are you people mad for even goin for this bull crap?

March 21 2011 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rann948

On a serious note: The nuclear plants in Japan did indeed shut down as expected with the 9.0 earthquake. The problem was that the tsunami took out all the back-up generators which would have kept the cooling pumps running. Now, if the plants had not shut down, they would have continued to generate their own power, running the pumps. But if they had not shut down, we would be hearing people scream about that. When Apollo 13 had its terrible time in space, it was said that NASA learned more about space travel from what went wrong than from all of the flights that went right. Point- every reactor from now on will be better and safer than ever because of this incident.

March 17 2011 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rann948

I lived the better part of thirty years within the 10 mile "strike zone" of a SAC airforce base where in every phone book there was the "nuclear incident evacuation" map. I guess I have just become accustomed to accepting the basic safety of nukes, for weapons or power. I guess though if people are going to get their panties in a bunch, we could always replace our nuclear plants with coal-fired plants. Then the neighbors would only have to wash the coal dust off their cars every morning. Nothing invisible or mysterious about coal pollution. LOL

March 17 2011 at 10:18 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
kcktmc

WHAAAAAAAAAAA We have become a nation of ignorant cowards. We do not even have the final results as to what will happen in Japan with the Nuclear plants and opportunists for the apparant cave man dwellers assosciation are crying, 'the sky is falling!" We are regulatied to extinction. FEAR seems to be the product under promotion. And ingorance responds. Shame on us all.

March 17 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

I never approved of these power plants in the beginning. Their are a lot of other alternatives . Not 2 miles from my home we have a generation station that runs on coal and I have never had a problem with that. The coal also supports a large industry in this country. I only live about 100 miles from three mile island. and the Salem power plant in New Jersey is only 40 miles from me. These plants could at any time pose a problem.

March 17 2011 at 1:41 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Thomas Mc

They keep assuring us a meltdown could never happen here.

They were saying the same thing in Japan just a week ago!

March 17 2011 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thomas Mc's comment
rann948

Is there a melt-down? I hadn't heard that it had been confirmed. I am sure that a week ago no one would have said that Japan would suffer a 9.0 quake with an epicenter basically right offshore from the reactors. and within minutes have an enormous tsunami in the same area. There are hundreds of reactors worldwide and this is only the third incident of any note in the 40 years we have had them running. No sense going loony over the whole thing.

March 17 2011 at 10:30 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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