Public more supportive of renewable investments as a result of Japan crisis, poll says
The majority of people in the U.S. are more supportive of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency as an alternative to expanded nuclear power as a result of the crisis in Japan, a new poll found.
The national poll was conducted for the Civil Society Institute, a think tank that has been critical of nuclear energy, from March 15-16.
The poll comes as workers continue to struggle to control nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeast Japan. A separate poll released earlier Tuesday by the Pew Research Center showed people are less supportive of nuclear power in light of the crisis.
According to the Civil Society Institute poll, which was conducted by ORC International, 58 percent of respondents said they are less supportive of nuclear in light of the crisis in Japan, while 24 percent said they are more supportive.
Asked if they more or less supportive of “using clean renewable energy resources — such as wind and solar — and increased energy efficiency as an alternative to more nuclear power,” 76 percent of the public said they were more supportive and 13 percent said they were less supportive.
Meanwhile, 53 percent said it would support a moratorium on new nuclear power plants if energy efficiency and renewable energy could meet the country’s energy needs. Forty-one percent said they would not support such a ban on new plants.
The United States gets about 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. Renewables, including biomass and hydroelectric power, generate about 12 percent of the country's electricity.
And in a poll result that underscores the longstanding, not-in-my-backyard concerns about nuclear power, 67 percent of Americans would oppose the construction of a new nuclear plant within 50 miles of their residence.