Record support for American nuclear

23 March 2009

Support for nuclear energy in the USA is at the highest level ever found by the Gallup polling organisation.
In a telephone survey of 1012 adults this month, some 59% said they somewhat or strongly favoured the use of nuclear energy as a means of generating electricity. The figure is the highest ever found by Gallup, although it only edges out support levels in 1994, 2004 and 2007 by a few percent. The same question found opposition to nuclear at a joint record low of 37%. In all the Gallup polls since 1994, the proportion of people reporting no opinion on nuclear power was always 7% or under.


Opinion poll, USA, March 2009


In common with many other national opinion polls on nuclear, it can be seen that levels of support and opposition tend to move simultaneously. This indicates a relatively large body of people have no strong opinion on nuclear power and their stance changes with current affairs.


Nuclear found a clear majority of support among males, 71%, while females recorded lower levels of 47%. Safety remained a concern for respondents, with 42% considering the plants to be unsafe, against 56% who said they were comfortable with nuclear safety. Again, Gallup noted a large difference between the sexes: 72% of men consider nuclear power to be safe, but only 41% of women.