The results of a new public opinion poll in the UK show that while the majority of people think the country should use nuclear power, there is evidence of confusion on the issue.
In a face-to-face poll of 1973 people conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) between 9 and 15 November, some 65% agreed that the UK needs a mix of energy sources - including nuclear and renewable energy sources.
The NIA said that the poll results indicate some tailing-off of previous increases in support. In a similar poll conducted in November 2006, some 72% of the UK public said they believe that nuclear power should form part of a balanced energy mix for the future.
In addition, the number of people undecided on the issue of nuclear energy grew in the latest poll, suggesting that there could be growing confusion on the issues involved. When asked about their knowledge of nuclear issues, some 68% of people said they knew "just a little" or "almost nothing" about the nuclear industry.
Keith Parker, chief executive of the NIA, speaking on the eve of Energy Choices 07 - a one-day conference focusing on public perception issues - described the findings of the poll as a "reality check" for the industry. He said, "It is good to see so many people aware of the discussion about nuclear and supporting it as part of a mix - but there are stark warnings here that as an industry we need to do more in promoting greater understanding of our industry."
Ipsos-MoriNuclear Industry Association
WNA's Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom information paper
WNN: UK poll shows strong nuclear support
WNN: Nuclear debate could be confusing UK public
WNN: UK public show strong support for nuclear