A new survey of Americans’ attitudes about energy by ecoAmerica, a Washington, D.C.–based environmental nonprofit, finds notable shifts in views on several energy sources, including nuclear energy, from 2018 to 2021.
The American Climate Perspectives Survey shows that national support for nuclear increased by 10 percentage points, from 49 percent to 59 percent. (The numbers reflect both strong and tepid backing.) Broken down by party affiliation, the survey shows Republican support holding steady at 64 percent, Independent support moving from 50 percent to 61 percent, and Democratic support rising, rather dramatically, from 37 percent to 60 percent.
What about waste? Concerns surrounding nuclear power remain but are in decline, according to the survey. Americans who say that they are concerned about nuclear waste disposal, for instance, dropped 9 points nationally, from 84 percent to 75 percent. Among Democrats and Independents, concern dropped 10 points, from 92 percent to 82 percent and 85 percent to 75 percent, respectively. Republican concern dropped 8 points, from 78 percent to 70 percent.