World backs advanced nuclear, says NGO group

May 10, 2023, 7:30AMNuclear News

A recent multinational survey of attitudes toward nuclear energy has found widespread public support for advanced nuclear technologies in countries around the world, according to the 50-page report The World Wants New Nuclear, released yesterday by nongovernmental organizations ClearPath, Third Way, Potential Energy Coalition, and RePlanet.

The report is based on a large-scale online quantitative survey across three continents, among 13,500 members of the general public. Nationally representative samples were surveyed for each of eight nations—France, Germany, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States—between November 2022 and January 2023.

“In designing the research, we were guided by extensive previous research on this topic, supplemented by interviews we conducted with government agencies, environmental organizations and commentators, nuclear industry bodies, and both established and new nuclear technology companies,” the report states. “The research was designed and executed by a team with deep experience of this approach to research and insight from Potential Energy Coalition, Zero Ideas, and Dynata.”

Key takeaways: Among the report’s major findings are the following:

  • Strong support for advanced nuclear energy exists in all eight countries surveyed, with an average of five supporters for every opponent. In the United States, 61 percent of respondents either “strongly agree” or “agree” with the use of the latest nuclear energy technologies to generate electricity alongside other sources, while only 16 percent “disagree” or “strongly disagree.”
  • Members of environmental groups are strong supporters of advanced nuclear energy. In all countries tested, environmental group members are net supporters of advanced nuclear energy. In some countries, they support advanced nuclear energy at a higher rate than nonmembers.
  • Support for advanced nuclear energy is nonpartisan. In all but two countries in the report, a majority of the supporters of every major political party also support advanced nuclear energy. In the United States, at least 60 percent of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support advanced nuclear energy.
  • Nearly all the opposition comes from a small, distinct segment of the population (15 percent) comprising people who are older, skeptical of innovation, and fixed in their views.
  • Other recent surveys have also confirmed a shift in public support in favor of nuclear energy—including a Gallup poll last month that found Americans’ support was at the highest level in a decade. More than 80 percent of people in Poland support advanced nuclear energy, with fewer than 10 percent opposed. In fact, 63 percent of Poles believe nuclear power should be the first choice for energy.

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