Grist writes: “US support for nuclear power soars to highest level in a decade: As the country looks to decarbonize, nuclear’s popularity continues to climb.” This is what Akielly Hu, Grist’s News and Politics Fellow, reports following the release by Gallup of a survey that found that 55 percent of US adults support the use of nuclear power. This total is up four percentage points in a year, and “reflects the highest level of public support for nuclear energy use in electricity since 2012.”
Among other findings, the survey found that Republicans are more likely to favor nuclear energy than Democrats, which partisan divide is particularly visible at the state level, with more pro-nuclear policies adopted in Republican-controlled states than left-leaning ones. Nevertheless, support for nuclear energy by Democratic is also on the rise, in part due to advances in nuclear technologies and new federal climate laws that clarify the fact that nuclear power is carbon-free energy and can help in efforts to solve climate change.
The Biden administration has identified nuclear energy as a key climate solution to achieve grid stability in a net-zero future. The administration is pushing for the deployment of advanced nuclear reactor models that improve on the safety and efficiency of traditional reactor designs. These designs will all be far more consistent and reliable than wind and solar energy, which vary depending on the weather. The broader shift in public opinion and, in particular, Democratic opinion toward nuclear energy, is at least partially a function of strong pronuclear leadership coming from the Biden Administration and the DOE under Secretary Jennifer Granholm.