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Infographic – Nuclear Power Support Grows in U.S.

Line chart, support for nuclear power in the U.S. since 2016.

(Pew Research Center)

19 Aug. 2023. As the climate crisis focuses more attention on alternatives to fossil fuels, nuclear energy is gaining more popular support in the U.S. as one of those alternatives. The Pew Research Center reported the findings yesterday, from a survey conducted in May and June 2023, with at least half of respondents in both political parties favoring more nuclear power plants.

A majority of participants in the Pew Research poll (57%) say they favor more nuclear power plants to generate electricity in the U.S., with the proportion growing from a little more than four in 10 (43%) three years ago. Nonetheless, larger majorities of Americans still favor more use of solar power (82%) and wind energy (75%) as sources for generating electricity in the U.S. However, nuclear power emerges as the least divisive option across party lines in the U.S. Two-thirds (67%) of Republicans and independents leaning toward the GOP say they’re in favor of nuclear power to produce electricity, while half (50%) of Democrats and their independent friends agree.

And while majorities of Republicans and supporting independents also favor more solar and wind power — 70 and 60 percent respectively — they’re far outpaced by the nine in 10 Democrats and independent friends, 91 and 93 percent, supporting more solar and wind. In addition, solid majorities of professed and leaning Republicans, 63 to 73 percent, also favor continued coal, oil, and natural gas development in the U.S., compared to a quarter or less of Democrats and friends.

Pew Research Center conducted the survey online with 10,329 U.S. adults taking part in the Center’s American Trends Panel from 30 May to 4 June 2023. Participants are recruited through national random sampling of U.S. households, with results weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population.

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