A new poll released today by the Nuclear Industry Association shows that 57% of the public back the use of nuclear and renewables to reduce the country’s carbon emissions. Only 11% disagree, with 32% neutral on the issue. The poll also shows continued backing for nuclear new build in the UK.
Furthermore, the research shows 64% of the public think climate change is a “serious and urgent problem” or “definitely happening”.
Nuclear energy in the UK avoids the emission of 40 million tonnes of CO2 every year – the equivalent of taking around half of Britain’s cars of the roads. In addition, over its life-time, each power station emits around five tonnes of CO2 per gigawatt hour of electricity generated, compared with nearly 500 tonnes from gas and more than 900 tonnes from coal. The figures show that these benefits are recognised by the public.
The findings also show twice as many people support (41%) rather than oppose (20%) the UK’s current new build plans to replace the nuclear power stations which will be phased out over the next few years.
Similar to previous surveys, men (66%) are substantially more favourable towards new nuclear power than women (36%). Keeping the lights on, job creation and investment are all seen as advantages of nuclear energy but 64% of the public are concerned about nuclear waste, a clear illustration that it remains the main public issue for the sector.
Speaking in advance of the NIA’s at its annual conference, #Nuclear – Powering the UK, today Keith Parker, Chief Executive said:
“This poll endorses the Government’s continued commitment to nuclear power. The public clearly recognise the important role nuclear energy plays in helping to keep the lights on and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.
“With all but one of the UK’s nuclear power stations due to close by the end of the 2020s, not only will the country lose a fifth of its generating capacity but CO2 emissions will rise and the country will undoubtedly become more dependent on imported energy. New nuclear power is essential for the UK and is the perfect complement to intermittent renewables in the UK’s fight against climate change and air pollution.”