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U.S. Public Opinion September 2013 Ann Bisconti, PhD President, Bisconti Research, Inc. BRi.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Public Opinion September 2013 Ann Bisconti, PhD President, Bisconti Research, Inc. BRi."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Public Opinion September 2013 Ann Bisconti, PhD President, Bisconti Research, Inc. BRi

2 Survey of U.S. Public Opinion September 5-15, ,000 nationally representative U.S. adults Margin of error +/- 3 percentage points Interviewed by landline and cell phone Bisconti Research with Quest Global Research Some 30-year trends, some new questions BRi 2

3 Topics Planning for the Future Attitudes Toward Nuclear Energy Spent Nuclear Fuel Rod Management Information and Spokesperson Credibility BRi 3

4 Planning for the Future BRi 4

5 ElectricEnergy CompaniesPolicymakers% One year44 5 years years years2322 More than 20 years3037 Don’t know How Far Ahead Should America’s Electric Companies/Energy Policymakers be Planning to Ensure Well Balanced Energy Supply in the Future? Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 5

6 Grade to the United States for Its Energy Planning Think of grades from A to F where A is the top grade and F means failure. What grade— A through F—would you give to the United States for its energy planning? You can give any grade from A to F. Average is C- “I don’t think we’re looking out in the future long enough. I don’t think we have a plan.” “I don’t think they think ahead and how it will affect the future.” “They are not planning for anything, not even repairs.” Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 6

7 % Natural gas40 Solar energy33 Nuclear energy28 Hydroelectric 27 Wind26 Coal19 Oil16 Primary Sources of Electricity in 10 Years Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 7

8 Future Importance of Nuclear Energy How important do you think nuclear energy will be in meeting this nation’s electricity needs in the years ahead? (%) In the next decade, do you think that nuclear energy’s importance in meeting America’s electricity needs will…? (%) Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 8

9 Importance of U.S. Nuclear Industry Leadership in World Markets 75% agree: As countries around the world build new nuclear power plants, it is important for the U.S. nuclear industry to continue to play a leading role in world markets. -46% agree strongly—up from 39% in February -82% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats, and 74% of Independents agree Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 9

10 Importance of Considerations for Way Electricity is Produced (%) Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 10

11 Association of Nuclear Energy with Considerations (%) Do you associate nuclear energy a lot, a little, or not at all with…? Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 11

12 Nuclear Energy in Low-Carbon Mix (%) % Agree Men84 Women86 South87 Northeast84 Midwest87 West82 % Agree Republicans87 Independents85 Democrats88 Age: to % agree: We should take advantage of all low-carbon energy sources, including nuclear, hydro, and renewable energy, to produce the electricity we need while limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 12

13 Nuclear Energy in Low-Carbon Mix And if you knew that nuclear energy is a climate change solution because it produces low-carbon electricity reliably around the clock, how much would you say that nuclear energy should be emphasized in our nation’s energy mix…? (%) If one of these energy sources had great potential as a climate change solution by producing a large amount of low-carbon electricity reliably around the clock, how much should that source be emphasized in our nation’s energy mix? (%) Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 13

14 Attitudes Toward Nuclear Energy BRi 14

15 U.S. Public Now More Favorable to Nuclear Energy Overall, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the United States? Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research BRi 15

16 Majorities of All Subgroups Favor Nuclear Energy (%) Men75 Women64 South75 Northeast69 Midwest68 West61 Republicans76 Independents71 Democrats64 Age: 18 to to Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 16

17 Many Women Are Fence-Sitters Overall, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the United States? (%) Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 17

18 Perception Gap Do you think the majority of people in your community favor or oppose the use of nuclear energy? (%) A majority of Americans (69%) favor nuclear energy Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 18

19 Percent Believe Majority of People In Their Community Favor Nuclear Energy Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research BRi 19

20 Opinions about License Renewal and New Plants Please tell me if you personally strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statements. (%) Agree Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 20

21 Acceptability of a New Reactor at the Nearest Nuclear Power Plant Site (%) If a new power plant were needed to supply electricity, would it be acceptable to you or not acceptable to you to add a new reactor at the site of the nearest nuclear power plant that is already operating? Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 21

22 U.S. Public Now Sees Plants as Safer Thinking about the nuclear power plants that are operating now, how safe do you regard these plants? Please think of a scale from "1" to "7," where "1" means very unsafe and "7" means very safe. The safer you think they are, the higher the number you would give. Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research BRi 22

23 Perceptions about Nuclear Power Plant Safety Please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the following statements. (%) Agree Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 23

24 Spent Nuclear Fuel Rod Management BRi 24

25 Opinions on Used Nuclear Fuel Management On the subject of nuclear waste management and specifically the management of the spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear power plants, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statements? (%) Agree Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 25

26 Which Organization Better for Managing a Nuclear Waste Facility? Which type of organization do you believe would do a better job of managing a nuclear waste storage facility? (%) Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 26

27 Opinions on Used Nuclear Fuel Transportation On the subject of nuclear waste management and specifically the management of the spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear power plants, do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statements? (%) Agree Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 27

28 Information and Spokesperson Credibility BRi 28

29 Topics Heard or Read in Past Year % Safety of nuclear power plants60 Clean air benefits of nuclear energy53 The need to build more nuclear power plants in the U.S.53 American nuclear power plants’ ability to safely withstand earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme natural events46 How America’s nuclear power plants are safe45 Using nuclear energy to grow the economy and create jobs45 Small nuclear power plant designs as a new technology option31 A company’s decision to close a nuclear power plant30 New nuclear power plant construction is underway in the United States29 Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 29

30 Percent Rated Excellent or Good as Source of Accurate and Reliable Information on Nuclear Energy Nuclear energy scientists and engineers74 Safety, radiation, or environmental experts at a nuclear power plant in this area63 Medical professionals, such as doctors or radiation technicians58 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission55 The chief nuclear officer at a nuclear power plant in this area49 Electric utilities44 The Internet43 Environmental groups43 Antinuclear groups25 Social media, such as Twitter, YouTube or Facebook22 Bisconti Research, Inc. with Quest Global Research, national public opinion, September 2013 BRi 30

31 Observations News about new Fukushima leaks at the time of the survey had no discernible impact on attitudes toward nuclear energy, which are broadly favorable—but fence-sitters predominate, nuclear still viewed as unpopular. Vital to strengthen awareness of clean air/climate change role and new plants being built. Communications should link to value public gives to long- range planning for a well-balanced energy supply. U.S. nuclear industry leadership in world markets appeals to all demographics. Support has swung toward independent federal authority to manage waste program, likely due to lack of confidence in federal government.

32 Language What we should support: License renewal for nuclear power plants as long as they meet federal safety standards. Final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel rods as long as it meets U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. Nuclear waste transportation as long as secure containment and proper procedures are used. Chief Nuclear Officer title may not communicate expertise; add “leading expert…”


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