Amid Russia’s war with Ukraine and successful efforts to keep Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant alive, it is clear that Americans and policymakers agree: nuclear energy is a stronger option than ever if we are to solve climate disruption.
For five consecutive years, EcoAmerica has conducted its American Climate Perspectives Survey, supported by Anthropocene Institute. The annual survey polls preferences and opinions about current and future energy choices and their impact on our lives and environment. The survey shows that 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.
An average of 73 percent of U.S. respondents say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. 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.
Anthropocene Institute's nuclear engineer Dinara Ermakova says, "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."
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.
The full report, including survey methodology, is here.