Story at a glance
- Americans are still split on whether the country should use nuclear energy, a new study shows.
- The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that 35 percent of adults believe the government should encourage the production of nuclear energy.
- Another 26 percent of adults said that they believe the federal government should discourage the production of nuclear energy.
President Biden has set an ambitious plan to tackle climate change that involves a major commitment to nuclear energy.
Advocates of nuclear power have touted it as a cleaner alternative to coal or gas since nuclear fission can generate electricity without producing carbon.
But creating a nuclear power plant also comes with a carbon footprint — albeit one that is similar to wind and less than solar energy — and nuclear energy production creates radioactive waste that must be securely stored.
There is also an accident risk with past disasters including Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima Daiichi.
Americans continue to have mixed feelings on whether to use nuclear power as a source of energy, a new poll found.
America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.
According to a survey from the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of respondents believe the federal government should “encourage the production of nuclear power” while 26 percent argue it should be discouraged. Meanwhile, 37 percent of survey respondents said the government should “neither encourage nor discourage” the creation of nuclear energy.
The first nuclear power plant in the United States opened in 1958, and since then the country has been divided on whether it should have a place in the nuclear energy sector.
The number of nuclear power plants has steadily decreased since the 1990s, the Pew Research Center study notes, and the country currently has 93 operational nuclear power reactors. Those reactors supplied the country with 18.8 percent of all its electrical power last year, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA
RISING ELECTRIC VEHICLE MAKER ANNOUNCES ‘TECHNOLOGY RACE’ WITH ELON MUSK’S TESLA
MAJOR ELECTRIC COMPANIES URGE BIDEN TO CUT EMISSIONS 80 PERCENT WITHIN 10 YEARS
ALL NEW US VEHICLES COULD BE REQUIRED TO BE ELECTRIC BY 2035, NEW STUDY SAYS
OFFICIAL UNVEILS PLAN TO TURN NEW YORK CITY INTO WIND ENERGY MANUFACTURING HUB
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.