Skip to content

Cool Britannia: UK Nuclear Support ‘Rises After Fukushima’

An opinion poll suggests that support for nuclear power in Britain has increased in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In the British Science Association poll, over 40% of respondents said the benefits outweighed the risks.

Researchers believe that worries about future energy security have become far more important in people’s minds.

Men were more than twice as likely as women to be in favour of nuclear, the poll suggests.

In March 2011, a powerful earthquake and tsunami destroyed the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. There were fears of large radiation leaks and 80,000 people were evacuated from a 20km zone around the facility.

The incident sparked a huge debate worldwide on the future of nuclear power with the German government deciding to close all their remaining nuclear power stations by 2022.

Bucking the trend

While opinion polls in Japan, Germany and Italy have all shown a drop in support for nuclear power following the disaster, Britons seem to be bucking the trend with increasing enthusiasm for the technology.

In 2010, 38% of those polled in the UK believed the benefits of nuclear outweighed the risks; this has increased to 41% today.

When asked about building new nuclear power stations, support has increased substantially from just 9% in 2005 to 23%.

In the light of the disaster, Professor Bob Cywinski, a nuclear expert from the University of Huddersfield, said the poll findings were unexpected.

“I am surprised that there is still such strong support after Fukushima despite the public misunderstanding and despite the bad publicity.”

Full story