Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More than half of British public support a nuclear future

17.01.2006


54% Of Public Vote For More Nuclear Power In Mori Poll



The British public sees the need to tackle climate change: but only reluctantly accepts nuclear power as a part of the solution, overwhelmingly preferring renewables and energy efficiency

As the Government next week begins its major review on the future of energy, an extensive survey published today (17th January) of the British public’s attitudes towards future energy options shows that just over 50% may be prepared to accept new nuclear power stations if it would help to tackle climate change. But few actively prefer the nuclear option over alternatives such as renewable sources and greater energy efficiency. Most people believe that promoting renewable energy sources (78%), and reducing energy use through lifestyle changes and energy efficiency (76%) are better ways of tackling climate change than nuclear power.


Part of the government’s impending energy review will consider whether the UK needs to replace its ageing nuclear power stations as one contribution towards achieving its climate change objectives. Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the survey research team, explained that “the government has already recognised the need to take public acceptability into account when exploring our future energy options. However, almost nothing is known about how ordinary people are responding to the new debate about nuclear power and climate change. This new research helps us to understand public views on this critical question”.

Carried out jointly by researchers from the Centre for Environmental Risk and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, in conjunction with Ipsos MORI. The survey reveals:

• There are high levels of concern about climate change among the British public.
• While polls over the past four years have shown a gradual lessening of opposition to replacing nuclear power stations, the new results still show more opposition than support.
• Higher proportions of people are prepared to accept nuclear power if they believe it will contribute to climate change mitigation. However, very few would actively prefer this as an energy source over renewables or energy efficiency, given the choice.

The detailed survey findings, which will be discussed at a meeting this morning (17th January) at the Royal Society in London, include the following:

On Climate Change

• 62% of respondents indicated that every possible action should be taken to limit climate change, and a further 32% that some action should be taken. More follows

The public believes changes in behaviour to reduce energy consumption (69%), and expanding use of renewables (68%) and of energy efficient technologies (54%) are the best ways of tackling climate change.

• 34% of adults now think that Britain’s existing nuclear power stations should be replaced, while the same proportion do not want them replaced when they reach the end of their lives. Only 9% want to see the number of nuclear stations increased, while 15% would close all existing stations today.

• 54% of people would be willing to accept the building of new nuclear power stations if it would help to tackle climate change, and 48% agreed that the nation needs nuclear power because renewables alone are not able to meet its electricity needs.

• However, people also believed that promoting renewable energy sources (78%) and reduced energy use through lifestyle changes and energy efficiency (76%) are better ways of tackling climate change than nuclear power.

• 63% believed that Britain needs a mix of energy sources, including nuclear and renewables, to ensure a reliable supply of electricity.

• While 62% said it doesn’t matter what the public think of nuclear power as nuclear power stations will be built anyway.

• Only 12% support regulation and taxation to reduce energy consumption.

Professor Nick Pidgeon added “The survey findings suggest that, given the numbers who are still opposed to renewal of nuclear power, there remains considerable potential for conflict around this issue. Additionally, many of those who do accept new nuclear power for Britain do so only reluctantly, and only if renewables and other strategies are developed and used alongside. Ordinary people have a more sophisticated understanding of energy futures than many decision makers like to believe. This wider context is something which the government should take very seriously during its own review.”

The research was jointly funded by The Leverhulme Trust (www.leverhulme.org.uk), the Economic and Social Research Council (www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk) and The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (www.tyndall.ac.uk)

Nicola Barrell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>