US support for nuclear power soars to highest level in a decade – by Akielly Hu (Grist/ – May 10, 2023)

As the country looks to decarbonize, nuclear’s popularity continues to climb

AGallup survey released in late April found that 55 percent of U.S. adults support the use of nuclear power. That’s up four percentage points from last year and reflects the highest level of public support for nuclear energy use in electricity since 2012.

The survey found that Republicans are more likely to favor nuclear energy than Democrats, consistent with previous Gallup polls. Experts say that partisan divide is particularly visible at the state level, with more pro-nuclear policies adopted in Republican-controlled states than left-leaning ones.

But Democratic support for nuclear energy is on the rise, and advances in nuclear technologies and new federal climate laws could be behind the broader shift in public opinion toward nuclear energy.

Nuclear energy has historically been a source of immense controversy. A series of high-profile nuclear accidents and disasters, from Three Mile Island in 1979 to Chernobyl in 1986 to Fukushima in 2011, have raised safety concerns — even though the death toll from fossil fuel power generation far outstrips that of nuclear power generation. Several government nuclear programs have also left behind toxic waste that place disproportionate burdens on Indigenous communities.

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