This year's annual public opinion survey from the UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) reveals the highest level of public support for nuclear power in over a decade.
Face-to-face interviews conducted by Ipsos Mori with some 1980 adults have shown that: 40% of people are now favourable to nuclear (up seven points from last year), while 17% are unfavourable (down three points); 47% support new nuclear construction while 19% do not; and the amount of women favourable to nuclear has risen to 25% (up four points), while those unfavourable is down to 19% (down four points).
There is also overwhelming support for a balanced energy portfolio, said NIA, with 70% of people supporting a mix including nuclear, with only 9% disagreeing. This is the highest level of support since NiA and Mori started the regular poll some 12 years ago.
NIA chief executive Keith Parker commented, "It is very positive to see that seven in ten people see a clear role for nuclear in the energy mix and that there is surging support for new build. There is a real recognition of the crucial role which nuclear energy can play in securing large scale energy supplies as we move ever further towards a low-carbon economy."
There are also indications that British citizens are more familiar with nuclear power than before. Increasing three points from last year, some 20% of people feel that they know at least a fair amount on the subject. This result redresses a slippage in previous years due to a perceived confusion within the growing energy debate.
Parker looked forward: "Absolute openness and transparency is utterly critical for the nuclear industry, we must engage effectively with local communities and with the national public. The fact that we are driving familiarity with our industry back up is testament to the focus we place on public engagement."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News