In Fukushima Aftermath, Half of Americans Now Oppose Building New Nuclear Plants

By Alexis C. Madrigal

In poll results that are unsurprising, the nuclear disaster in Japan has hurt atomic energy's image here in the United States. A new CBS poll found that 50 percent of Americans now oppose building new nuclear plants, up from 34 percent the last time the poll was conducted in 2008. That year was the high-water mark for nuclear support in the post-Chernobyl area.

This poll is a symptom of a greater problem for Americans. We make energy decisions during crises and then forget about the energy system until the next crisis. Unfortunately, our energy system has to work all the time -- literally every hour of every day -- to keep our society running.

The poll also found that 62 percent of people oppose the construction of a nuclear plant near where they live.

Yet this all may be something of a moot point as only a handful of reactors were ever even under consideration.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/in-fukushima-aftermath-half-of-americans-now-oppose-building-new-nuclear-plants/72911/