US nuclear support drops

The American public’s support for nuclear energy dropped in the immediate aftermath of Japan’s nuclear crisis, according to several recent polls reported in USA Today.

At least three polls, including one by USA Today, show support for President Obama’s call to expand nuclear power fell, with fewer than half of U.S. adults favoring the idea. The poll results signal a drop from surveys completed before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that seriously damaged several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

According to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 39 percent of respondents said they support increased use of nuclear power, down from 47 percent in October. The survey found 52 percent opposed to nuclear power. The poll was taken March 17-20 and questioned 1,004 adults.

Public support for nuclear power dropped before after accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. However, because Japan’s event included a natural disaster and American-designed reactors, the article speculated that public opinion may not change.

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