With the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, U.S. policy toward nuclear energy was thrown into doubt. A year later, the situation remains somewhat unclear, as a new report from The Harris Poll suggests opinions have shifted against nuclear power, but remain evenly split.
The poll asked more than 2,000 American adults their opinions about nuclear power generation and other energy sources in early February, attempting a reasonable approximation of the general populace.
The Harris Poll found support for nuclear energy changed little from previous years, with 44 percent feeling the benefits outweigh the risks in 2009, 42 percent in 2011 and finally 41 percent in the latest poll.
However, opposition to the energy source surged, rising from 34 percent in 2009 and 37 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in the latest poll. The greatest driving force for this opposition appeared to stem from Democrats, with Republicans and independents more likely to support the technology.
On the other side of the Pacific, the reaction to Fukushima was less mixed, with a sizable majority of the country opposed to the restart of nuclear power reactors, according to Reuters.