Monday, March 30, 2015
U.S. Support for Nuclear Energy at 51%
A slim majority of Americans (51%) now favor the use of nuclear energy for electricity in the U.S., while 43% oppose it. This level of support is similar to what Gallup found when it last measured these attitudes two years ago, but it is down from the peak of 62% five years ago. Current support is on the low end of what Gallup has found in the past 20 years, with the 46% reading in 2001 the only time that it sank lower.
The high point in support for the use of nuclear power, in 2010, was recorded shortly after President Barack Obama announced that the federal government would provide loan guarantees for the construction of two nuclear reactors, the first to be built in the U.S. in three decades.
Support has generally dropped since then. However, between 2011 and 2012, support was stable, with 57% favoring nuclear energy. This is notable given that Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster took place shortly after polling in 2011.
The latest result comes from Gallup's annual Environment poll, conducted March 5-8. (Gallup, 3/30/2015)