Tuesday, March 29, 2011
As the Japanese continue to struggle with the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility, support for the building of nuclear plants in the United States has fallen to a new low. One-third of voters now favor phasing out nuclear power in this country.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 38% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the building of more nuclear plants here, down two points from last week which marked the lowest level of support in nearly three years. Forty-two percent (42%) oppose the building of new U.S. plants, up four points from the previous survey. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
In prior surveys since June 2008, support for building more nuclear plants has ranged from a low of 47% to a high of 58%. Opposition has run from 25% to 35%.
Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters also now think the United States should systematically phase out the use of nuclear power plants over the next 50 years, but 47% disagree. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.
However, just 24% of voters correctly recognize that 20% of the nation’s electricity is provided by nuclear power. Twenty-eight percent (28%) think 10% or less of America’s electrical supply comes from nuclear plants. Nine percent (9%) estimate that nuclear power produces 30% of the country’s electricity, three percent (3%) say 50%, and four percent (4%) think it’s more than 50%. Nearly one-in-three voters (31%) aren’t sure.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on March 24-25, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
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