Public support for nuclear power at new peak

WASHINGTON Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:26am EDT

A U.S. flag flutters in front of cooling towers at the Limerick Generating Station nuclear facility in Pottstown, Pennsylvania May 24, 2006. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A U.S. flag flutters in front of cooling towers at the Limerick Generating Station nuclear facility in Pottstown, Pennsylvania May 24, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The majority of Americans who favor nuclear-generated electricity hit a new high this year, according to a poll on Monday that suggests growing support for President Barack Obama's aid to the nuclear industry.

Sixty-two percent of 1,014 U.S. adults, who were surveyed March 4-7 by Gallup, said they favored nuclear energy as one way to meet national electricity needs.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

Hoping to advance climate legislation in Congress, Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for new plant construction in February. The guarantees will help build the first new U.S. nuclear power facilities in nearly three decades.

The Democratic president used the loan guarantees to reach out to Republicans including Senator John McCain of Arizona, whose help he needs to push forward stalled climate legislation that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and expand the use of renewable energy.

A compromise bill being put together in the Senate would further expand federal assistance for nuclear plant construction.

Gallup's latest findings show Republican support for nuclear power a new high of 74 percent this year, up from 71 percent a year ago.

Democratic support stands at a bare majority of 51 percent, down slightly from 52 percent in 2009, the poll showed.

The data have a 4 percentage point margin of error.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (3)
mgilbo1 wrote:
If you told the Majority of Americans to walk off a cliff, they would most likely follow so who cares what they think. Nuclear power is so overpriced and DANGEROUS that its not even worth the time to start building a plant. If you want to solve our energy problems, stop overpopulation. Enact birth restrictions worldwide and lower our population down to manageable levels. Of course govt, religious and corporate influences don’t want that do they?

Mar 23, 2010 5:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rrrick wrote:
Americans aren’t ready for our vast lands to be peppered with swooshing, red-light flashing, white windmills; or our deserts eco-systems destroyed from miles of solar electric installations; or, a highly visible electrical grid transversing roadless lands. A few acres occupied by a high concentration of buildings, containment domes and cooling towers will keep the green where it belongs. Enough investment in fission, and demotion of fossil fuel burning, and a uranium mine can become a thing of the past, too.

Mar 23, 2010 8:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jaguar6cy wrote:
It is time to recognize that the environmental industrial complex will oppose any and all solutions to the issue of energy supply. Any proposed solution will be violently opposed by most or all of them. That oppositional stance is the only thing that guarantees the flow of membership dues and donations and keeps the organizers well paid. Solutions will never come from them and, as a result, it is time to completely ignore their rants and screeds.

Mar 23, 2010 9:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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