Nuclear Energy Among the Least Popular Sources of Power in the U.S., Polling Shows
But new Morning Consult data shows that 21 percent of U.S. adults believe that the country should both stop constructing new nuclear energy facilities and halt current production, while 33 percent agree that new construction should be stopped but think that existing sites should continue producing energy.
Sixteen percent believes that the country should build more reactors, and just 6 percent says that the country should keep current plants running, build more reactors and promote civil nuclear programs abroad (as the United States has done most recently with Poland).
The Aug. 24-27 survey polled 2,200 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
The survey results come as the Trump administration pushes the development of nuclear energy both domestically and internationally, investing especially in the development of advanced technology in order to speed nuclear’s adoption amid carbon emission reduction goals coming due.
And Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also expressed interest in developing advanced technology and leveraging existing nuclear capabilities as part of his wider energy plan released in June. (When contacted by Morning Consult, the Biden campaign did not provide information on the former vice president’s views on nuclear beyond what is included in the publicly available plan.)
And while the popular progressive platform the Green New Deal makes no specific mention of nuclear energy, one of its sponsors, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), said last year that it “leaves the door open on nuclear.”
But even with its political support, when compared with other energy sources nuclear seems to have a bad rap among the general public. As compared with a number of energy sources, coal was the only option respondents regarded less favorably than nuclear, with 24 percent viewing coal favorably and 58 percent unfavorably.