Support for new nuclear energy slips as indecision mounts

Public support for building new nuclear power stations has fallen by eight percentage points in the last year to 42% according to our latest poll.

Support for new nuclear energy slips as indecision mounts

The latest national face-to-face survey from Ipsos MORI shows that public support for building new nuclear power stations has fallen by eight percentage points in the last year to 42%. But there is no corresponding groundswell of opposition: the proportion opposed to nuclear newbuild is unchanged this year at 20%, close to its all-time low of 19% (in 2010). The result is that the undecided or neutral proportion of the population has grown to 38%, up eight points since 2011 and the highest we have measured in a decade of polls. Support continues to be comfortably above the level measured soon after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, but has been higher at several points in recent years.

While support for nuclear newbuild still broadly increases with age, the fall in support and growth in the undecided or neutral proportion is most pronounced in the case of the 35-44 age group – among this group support is down 18 points and the proportion undecided is up 22 points to 54%, and now makes up a majority of people between these ages.

Technical Note Ipsos MORI conducted face-to-face interviews using CAPI with 1,046 adults aged 16+ in 126 systematically-selected sampling points across Great Britain in the period 7-13 December 2012. The data were weighted to be representative of the population of Great Britain aged 16+. This was a cut-down version of an annual survey previously run for the Nuclear Industry Association, using the same methodology as previously. It was conducted at Ipsos MORI’s own expense.

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