British support for nuclear energy returns to its pre-Fukushima high

BRITISH support for nuclear energy is at an all-time high as the nation’s collective consciousness moves away from Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

According to research by Ipsos MORI, the dip in favourable attitudes towards nuclear power seen in surveys in June 2011 was “no more than a temporary blip”, and backing for a nuclear programme is now growing year on year.

The dip, which saw support wane from 40 per cent to 28 per cent and opposition rise seven percentage points to 24 per cent, is thought to be due to the Japanese nuclear flare-up, which released radioactive materials following the earthquake and tsunami last March.

According to surveys conducted in December, 40 per cent of Britain is in favour of the nuclear energy industry, while nineteen per cent expressed opposition.

A record fifty per cent of respondents said they would be in favour of building new nuclear power stations in Britain to replace those due to be phased out over the next few decades.

Backing for new power plants dropped eleven percentage points in the wake of Fukushima, down from 47 per cent.

“Support for nuclear newbuild has recovered robustly,” said Robert Knight, director at Ipsos MORI Reputation Centre.

“It seems the public see Japan as a long way away and memories are short, but concerns about the future security of energy supply closer to home are ongoing and persistent.”