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Tue Apr 30, 2013, 10:23 PM

Nuclear power very unpopular

Last edited Wed May 1, 2013, 04:11 AM - Edit history (1)

Nuclear power very unpopular

Recent surveys in the United States and Germany show that renewables remain very popular and that an overwhelming majority of people oppose nuclear. At the same time it, surveys show that the political divide is greater in the US over renewables than it is in Germany.

As someone who spends part of his time defending the German nuclear phaseout against proponents of nuclear in the Anglo world, I tend to think that support for nuclear is greater than it actually is. But as our colleagues at Think Progress recently pointed out, a Gallup poll found that only 37 percent of Americans think that "more emphasis" should be placed on nuclear power in domestic energy production. The difference between Republicans and Democrats was also quite salient, with 49 percent of the former leaning towards nuclear compared to only 30 percent of the Democrats.

In contrast, 76 percent of Americans expressed their support for solar power, compared to 71 percent for wind power. Here, the greatest discrepancy between the two parties was the 24 percent gap pertaining to wind power (see chart).

Recent polls in Germany have focused less on nuclear (the most recent ones I could find were from 2011) than on support for the energy transition. But a survey (PDF in German) taken in mid-March on Environmental Minister Altmaier's proposal (since rejected) to "put the brakes on power prices" (which everyone essentially took to mean slowing down the energy transition, and hence renewables) met with great popular resistance, and the differences between political parties was only slight. While 89 percent of the Greens believe that "renewables should be consistently expanded," the figure was 21 percentage points lower for the Christian Democrats, who still came in at 68 percent in favor of renewables. In contrast, 81 percent of the Social-Democrats said renewables should continue to grow, a difference of only 13 percentage points compared to the CDU.

Germany currently has five political parties in ...


This is quite a bit different than what some regular posters here would have you believe about support among Germans for the energy transition, isn't it? If you listen to them, the German public is ready to abandon the effort. Just to be clear - the LOWEST level of support among any party for the continuation of the policy to expand renewables is 68%.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nuclear power very unpopular (Original post)
kristopher Apr 2013 OP
kristopher May 2013 #1
FBaggins May 2013 #2
NNadir May 2013 #3
kristopher May 2013 #4
jpak May 2013 #5
cprise May 2013 #6
Nihil May 2013 #7
cprise May 2013 #8

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed May 1, 2013, 03:10 PM

1. 3/2013 Gallup poll

Vast majorities of Americans want to prioritize the development of renewable energy, compared to minorities that was to prioritize fossil fuels. (Gallup)
No fewer than two in three Americans want the U.S. to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy using solar power (76%), wind (71%), and natural gas (65%). Far fewer want to emphasize the production of oil (46%) and the use of nuclear power (37%). Least favored is coal, with about one in three Americans wanting to prioritize its domestic production.
Where Americans live makes a difference in their views about which sources of domestic energy they want the U.S. to emphasize more. Those living in the South tend to be more supportive of traditional energy sources such as oil and coal than are those in other regions.
Still, for Americans in every region, including the South, solar power is the top choice, or is tied for the top spot, among the energy sources tested.


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Response to kristopher (Reply #1)

Wed May 1, 2013, 03:25 PM

2. And what percentage want LESS emphasis on nuclear power?

Since that matched your position, wouldn't you want to know?

Actually... only a small subset of "less emphasis" would match your position in the last couple years, but they didn't ask that.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #1)

Wed May 1, 2013, 09:58 PM

3. If true - and the source is from the grand self referential noodnicks from the anti-nuke cults...

...it would only prove that ignorance is popular.

This of course, is not new. In the time of the bubonic plague, a popular solution was to pray more, which had no effect on the death rate, any more than 50 years of expensive and wasteful chanting about the toxic and failed solar industry, which despite the squandering of hundreds of billions of euros, yen, yuan and dollars, can't produce even a half an exajoule of energy out of the 520 exajoules of energy used each year by humanity.

We still hear the same chanting right now, as the atmosphere is dying at the fastest rate ever, mostly because fear and ignorance and scientific illiteracy pretended that a natural disaster that killed 20,000 people by <em>drowning</em> - about 10% of the death toll from drownings at the great 1976 renewable energy disaster at Banqiao that killed between 175,000 and 250,000 people - involved radation, even though the radiation deaths were zero.

The renewable energy industry, despite the idiotic popular enthusiasm for it, can't even power the servers that anti-intellectual anti-nuke lightweights use to power servers and computers dedicated to telling us how wonderful renewable energy is.

In fact, in a scientific journal, and not some dumb anti-nuke website with an oxymoronic name, they had this to say about the grand 60 year failed experiment in solar energy:

Our analysis found that the PV industry was a net electricity consumer as recently as 2010, and in 2008 the PV industry consumed 75% more electricity than it produced.

Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47, 3482−3489

Of course nuclear power is unpopular in the vast circle jerk of anti-nuke bourgeois consumer brats. it's not like their scientifically literate.

In other parts of the world, ignorance is nowhere as powerful as here.

But I would like to congratulate all the anti-nukes on their grand victory over the planetary atmosphere. Both February 2013 (3.18 ppm increase over the disastrous Feb 2012) and March 2013 (2.91 ppm increase over the disastrous March 2012) set all time records.

I don't know what the "solar will save us" set is, probably some kind of religious cult probably, but one they are not, is environmentalists.

The environmentalist Jim Hansen, one of the most famous climate scientists in the world, also wrote a paper in Environ. Sci. Tech, which will come out in the next issue:

It's called Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power

He writes:

Mortality. We calculate a mean value of 1.84 million human deaths prevented by world nuclear power production from 1971 to 2009 (see Figure 2a for full range), with an average of 76 000 prevented deaths/year from 2000 to 2009 (range 19 000−300 000). Estimates for the top five CO2 emitters, along with full estimate ranges for all regions in our baseline historical scenario, are also shown in Figure 2a. For perspective, results for upper and lower bound scenarios are shown in Figure S1 (Supporting Information). In Germany, which has announced plans to shut down all reactors by 2022 (ref 2), we calculate that nuclear power has prevented an average of over 117 000 deaths from 1971 to 2009 (range 29 000−470 000). The large ranges stem directly from the ranges given in Table 1 for the mortality factors.

There is no way to interpret his remarks other than this: Anti-nukism is just murder.

Of course, Hansen is not a mob of dumb people parroting silly rhetoric. He's a scientist, an important scientist, and thus deserving no respect by pop cultists.

But we have to concede that fear and ignorance, as often happens, has won the day, and there is no hope for the planetary atmosphere as we race to and actually scrape 400 ppm.

Congratulations anti-nukes. [link:http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/|You must be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very proud.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Wed May 1, 2013, 11:12 PM

4. Poor Nnads....

Nuclear is dying on the vine. Renewables are ascendent and they are doing something that nuclear never has - they are making coal a losing economic proposition.

Answer a question: as long as there was talk of a nuclear revival the southern utilities involved in planning for nuclear projects were also making plans for expansion of coal. Now that nuclear has once again shown that it is far to expensive to build they are shelving their nuclear plans AND their plans for expansion of coal. Whereas they previously had few-to-no plans for incorporating renewables into their mix, they are now starting to turn their attention to building up their renewable portfolio.

Nuclear and coal are economic twins. When you change the system to kill one, you kill the other.

I am very sure that an expanded analysis of the type you quoted could be done. One that looked at the way the economics of coal were preserved by the presence of old nuclear plants. Without those nuclear plants crowding out renewables it is reasonable to speculate that the tipping point in favor of 100% renewables would have been been reached far earlier than the present trajectory.

So the question: Wouldn't it be acceptable to attribute the damages/deaths due to the delay in the changeover to nuclear?

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Thu May 2, 2013, 04:13 PM

5. This post is unacceptable


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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Thu May 2, 2013, 05:46 PM

6. Nuke industry can't get its act together

...even with liability exemptions. People dislike them increasingly because they STINK of the same pathological mindset of the financial sector which has come to dominate nearly every interaction an individual has in this society.

I, for one, am glad solar PV has become energy-positive "only as recently as" 2011 with that kind of a steep growth curve.

Hansen can have his pro-nuke stance. Whatever argument he makes, we can cut through it by pointing out the corruption and oligarchy. The rest of the world will not suddenly become France to satisfy his (quite natural) desire for a unitary technological fix.

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Response to cprise (Reply #6)

Fri May 3, 2013, 05:58 AM

7. That is a very important point:


> People dislike them increasingly because they STINK of the same pathological mindset
> of the financial sector which has come to dominate nearly every interaction an individual
> has in this society.

That is the point that caused me (a few years ago) to change course with regards to
supporting nuclear power. Whilst in some respects I expected the US industry to be
dominated by short-sighted profit-seekers & penny-pinching anti-engineers, it took
a while for me to recognise that the same approach was in place across the world
and that your comment about "the corruption & oligarchy" is only too true.

Looking back at some of my past defence of nuclear power, I can see how I reacted in a
knee-jerk manner to the ignorance & genuinely science-free drivel of *some* of the
anti-nuclear posters and let it blind me to the accuracy of *some* of the other anti-nuclear
arguments for far too long.

Live & learn. Learn & live.

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Response to Nihil (Reply #7)

Fri May 3, 2013, 11:10 AM

8. Indeed. Reduce finance to having to compete making commodity hardware

Their role as rentiers has become inimical to the public interest.

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