Rising energy prices had triggered a more popular and positive view of nuclear power
February 2006 - Rising energy prices had triggered a more popular and positive view of nuclear power . As consumers are hit by escalating oil and gas costs they are taking a renewed look at nuclear energy, Mr. Peterson, Vice-President of Communications at the Nuclear Energy Institute, told the annual Conference on Public Information Materials Exchange (PIME) in Vienna, 12-16 February 2006. Other driving factors include: energy supply and demand; geopolitical consequences; climate change and clean air. Public opinion holds safety and waste issues as the main concerns about this energy source, Mr. Peterson noted.
To give a global perspective, a recent survey of some 1800 people in 18 countries was commissioned by the IAEA. It found while the majority of citizens generally support the continued use of existing nuclear reactors, most people do not favour building new reactors.
According to Mr. Peterson in the United States at least, support appears to be growing for an industry long haunted by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. In a separate survey, the Institute asked over 1000 people living within a 10-mile radius of 64 nuclear power stations how they felt. Over 80% were in favour of nuclear energy. While seventy-six percent of residents said it would be acceptable to add a new reactor to an existing site.
"The poll's results show that support for
new nuclear plants is strong among those residents who live near nuclear plants.
This bodes well for the prospect of new plant construction, particularly for
those companies considering adding new reactors at existing nuclear plant
sites," Mr. Peterson said.