In the latest edition of Californians and the Environment, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) revealed that most of the state opposes nuclear energy. The sentiment is shared across every demographic surveyed by the PPIC — political preference, region, age, gender, and ethnicity.
The question appeared:
“Do you favor or oppose the following proposal — building more nuclear power plants at this time?”
Among the several regions in California
Inland Empire residents (73%) are the most opposed, followed by residents in Los Angeles (66%), the Central Valley (64%), the San Francisco Bay Area (60%), and Orange/San Diego (58%).
Women (72%) are much more likely than men (54%) to oppose building more nuclear plants. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (80%) are much more likely than Latinos (68%), whites (60%), and Asians (59%) to be opposed.
Lower- (68%) and middle income (65%) residents are more opposed than upper-income residents (55%).
Today’s feelings towards nuclear energy are reflective of public opinion just after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The adamant opposition also follows the currently operational Diablo Canyon plant and the recently closed San Onofre plant.
Diablo Canyon has been met with protests from activist groups in the San Luis Obispo area like Mothers for Peace and Greenpeace. Despite the calls for its closure, the plant generates $3 billion in total economic and is an economic necessity in the San Luis Obispo region. Diablo Canyon’s operational license expires in 2024 and 2025, and has experienced trouble conducting regional safety and seismic tests.
San Onofre’s closure in June was celebrated by environmental activist groups, but the plant is said to have helped reduce CO2 emissions by 8 million metric tons a year. In addition to the stated environmental impact, energy prices in Southern California have increased at a faster rate – 12 percent more — than the rest of the state.
Nuclear energy is a carbon-free source, and despite strong opposition, a record-high of Californians are concerned about climate change. The PPIC survey shows that 85 percent of all adults say the effects of climate change have either begun or will begin in the near future. PPIC also shows a majority across the political spectrum favor federal assistance in developing wind, solar, hydro energy technology.
Concerns about nuclear waste storage and operational safety linger in the minds of most Californians. The state has a moratorium on new nuclear projects until a permanent waste disposal method is developed. Until then, Diablo Canyon will remain to be the only operational nuclear plant in California.
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I am definitely "pro" nuclear as it is a very important ingredient in the mix of producing clean electric power. Burning fossil fuels to create electric power is 10 times more polluting and the risk are greater with fossil fuels.
I'm not a fan of nuclear power, but at the moment, I see no truly viable alternative that is as efficient and powerful enough to supply large masses. Californians have been opposing nuclear power since I moved there in 1971 and were still opposing it when we left in 1991, but we can't turn the power off expecting to cook with a flashlight
Enough sunlight hits the Earth to produce 8,000 TERAWATTS of energy a day
The WORLD currently consumes 16 Terawatts a day total.
Put solar panels on every roof of every building and there will not be a need for nuclear.
Research and development should be focusing on increasing efficiency for panels and Graphene Superconductor batteries for energy storage during dark hours.
And we only need 10 years of energy until solar takes over. No need to build things that take eons to get rid of.
It does seem to be a matter of this image that enters people's minds of Chernobyl or Japan, but I think pro-nuclear energy advocates need to a better job at educating people of the benefits.
Nuclear power is a Trojan horse. It looks like it will easily solve today's problems but will ultimately be a disaster as accidents will happen and people cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Even in perfect conditions the waste issue is still glaring and pro-nuclear forces for profit just assume some future tech will solve it. The level of disinformation circulated about legitimate alternatives like wind and solar have created a false impression that nuclear power is the only alternative to fossil fuels. If there were no profit in it for a few i don't think we'd even be talking about it.
Shut them all down they are poisoning our world with this garbage just so they can have all this crap we really don't need and get rich off selling it to us.
A lot of this, frankly, is the result of incredibly bad pr on the part of the power companies. The recent shutdown at San Onofre is a perfect example. SC Edison said they were going to temporarily shut down the reactor for repairs, but then, when they went in for repairs, they had to admit that it was in a far more deteriorated condition than they had said - that in fact it was so decrepit it shouldn't have been operating at all. That just made the public even more wary and less trusting of Edison's ability to safely operate a nuclear facility.
Had Edison from the outset announced that they were going to decommission a 40 year old obsolete reactor for which they could no longer get parts and replace it with a new, more efficient, safer, more environmentally responsible reactor, I suspect they'd have had little opposition. The situation was handled so ineptly it's hard to believe that they ever intended to continue generating nuclear power. Why, I don't know - but I'm sure there's money somewhere.
I support nuclear power plants, but safety should be a priority and it's better than some of our other energy sources, so build at least until we can develop fusion reactors
If it's highly toxic or unsustainable then we shouldn't put effort into developing it. it's time to stop governing and managing resources like children not thinking about the future. Anyone that thinks sustainability isn't an issue is trying to kill the human race.
with 10,000 100,00 lbs of nuclear waste built up . Nuclear Energy is NOT clean or good for our enviroment.
Nuclear energy is safer than it used to be and is safer than the public perception. May states and countries have more nuclear energy than California does. But, there are important concerns about when engineers make design mistakes that cause unforseen problems.
And where do they think they are going to get the energy to replace the nuclear plants they just shut down! There is no technology currently available at the same costs. Stop drinking the Ecoterrorists koolaid!! When the blackouts and brownouts and energy rationing starts, they're will be whining about it over their lattes!
I don't think people really understand the energy density of fissile material. The large capacity nuclear offers for power generation leads to some unexpected results, like lower deaths power unit energy produced than green energy, even by the most generous estimates of harm due to nuclear plant operation and accidents. As for the idea that it "creates" any kind of pollution - fissile material is already in the ground. Digging it up and concentrating it speeds its decay. In fact, newer reactors can do this with *existing* nuclear waste. There is no good reason we should not get on with building them.
I remember when microwave ovens came out, and my sister would loudly and proudly proclaimed she would refuse to eat any food that had been 'nuked'. Guess who has a microwave today?
The new technologies bear, at the least, close examination. I believe most opposed are knee-jerk opponents to anything with the nuclear label and do not take the time to read up on current thinking in nuclear power plant design. Are they the answer? I don't know. But we should investigate their potential with an open mind.
My thoughts are that the public is poorly informed, and our policy makers have the wrong priorities. We should be calling for research into thorium reactors, which showed great promise as a meltdown-proof source of nuclear energy that could actually consume the waste products of existing reactors as fuel, but were mothballed when it became clear they could not be used to generate weaponizable fissile material. Now that there has been investment in conventional nuclear power, there is a lot of money riding on the status quo.
San Onofre was efficient for a short time, then politics got involved (Republican run state sold the plant to arizona and upkeep failed, etc. Now it is a rusted out hulk, leaking contaminants. If you lived here, you'd know the film riding just atop the water at the beach, the constant icky yellowish foam, tumor covered fish, etc. Nuclear is not green. We have plenty sun and wind, only Republican fuled obstruction keeps us from developing this technology further and utilizing it !
Nuclear fission was supposed to be a stop-gap measure while nuclear fusion was developed. I don't think nearly enough effort is going into that potentially limitless source of energy. If oil/gas/coal companies were really energy companies, they would be pouring huge amounts of their revenue into fusion and other clean energy. Fossil fuels are finite and non-renewable. Time to think long-term.
nuclear energy production is NOT green. it merely trades air pollution problems for ground pollution problems. you want to change the type of generator you use for power generation, solar is the greenest way to go.
We can't afford to treat nuclear as anything other than our tide over option to better methods!! we cannot rearrange the whole system around the shortcomings of our best current energy option, considering the shortcomings of our current energy system are considerably more dire
I will be the first to admit that I know the least about nuclear power in terms of energy sources. That said, I know that our technology is NOT fail-safe..and diasters like Chernobyl and Fushima are no joke! I am sure the pro-nuclear plant folk say..well, it's relatively safe...like airplanes are relatively safe...it's just that when there is a diaster, it is of epic proportions...people and environment. Add to that the topography of California and if the people choose not to take that risk, that is their right!
solar is a great resource but with current technology wont be able to provide the sheer magnitude of energy that would be required to replace other sources, you cant have your cake and eat it too, there needs to be a diverse mix of efficient energy production capabilities
Nuclear energy is probably the most efficient energy sources. Of course we have to be careful with the operation of these plants, but there's definitely a place for nuclear power in the realm of energy.
A sustainable energy market will have to draw from all types of sources, and when nuclear provides as much carbon-free energy as it does, it shouldn't disregarded.