WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The majority of U.S. respondents, regardless of political affiliation or age, are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. today, but they believe nuclear energy is a big part of the solution, according to the fifth consecutive ecoAmerica American Climate Perspectives Survey. The annual survey polls preferences and opinions about current and future energy choices and their impact on our lives and environment.
An average of 73 percent of U.S. respondents say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. today. Much of their discontent centers on the country’s actions to combat climate change, with 46 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Democrats highly concerned.
America is pro-nuclear, and worries about nuclear have steadily declined
When asked about energy choices to address climate disruption, most respondents support nuclear power, because it reliably generates a lot of our electricity (70 percent), helps grow our economy while reducing pollution to our climate and health (69 percent), and keeps America competitive and energy independent (69 percent). They also want nuclear power plants to be kept running until lower-cost renewable energy becomes available (68 percent), are in favor of nuclear because it does not emit pollutants that harm our health or climate compared to alternatives (67 percent), and thousands of years of uranium and thorium are available to power nuclear plants for truly sustainable energy (59 percent).
Americans across all age cohorts and political affiliations want more investment into advanced nuclear options, such as inexpensive, fail-safe molten salt reactors. Support for nuclear research and development has risen, with 61 percent of the population now wanting more focus on developing nuclear energy sources.
Concerns about nuclear lessen in the face of energy insecurity and climate change
Across the five years of the survey, Americans’ concerns about nuclear energy have dropped, including worries about waste disposal (now 73%, down from 84% in 2018); health and safety (now 73%, down from 80% in 2018); security and weaponization (now 66%, down from 74% in 2018); cost (now 57%, down from 65% in 2018); and overpopulation/development and loss of habitat (now 61%, down from 74% in 2018).
“With growing concerns about our energy security and climate future, U.S. respondents want to keep existing nuclear power plants operational and invest in next-generation nuclear energy,” said Dinara Ermakova, nuclear engineer at Anthropocene Institute. “If the U.S. and Western nations had matched the pace of France's adoption of nuclear energy in the 1980s, we would not yet be observing climate change disasters, and the goal of reaching a safe, stable climate would seem trivial. U.S. respondents agree: it’s time to take strong action to make nuclear power a major part of our energy mix.”
The full ecoAmerica report can be found here.
About Anthropocene Institute
Anthropocene Institute comprises scientists, engineers, communicators, marketers, thought leaders, and advocates — all pulling together toward a common goal: make Earth abundant for all and sustainable for decades to come. For more information, visit www.anthropoceneinstitute.com.