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Nuclear Power Plant Neighbors Dispel NIMBY

  • 89 percent view nuclear plant favorably
  • 83 percent give high marks on safety
  • 90 percent consider nuclear important for future electricity needs

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Americans living near commercial nuclear energy facilities strongly support continued operation of the existing facilities and construction of new ones, dispelling the "not-in-my-backyard" phenomenon. A new national survey of residents living within 10 miles of nuclear energy facilities shows that overwhelming majorities view the plant closest to them favorably, give the plant a high safety rating and would welcome a new reactor at the site.

These are among the key findings of the sixth biennial nationwide survey of Americans living near the nuclear energy facilities that generate one-fifth of the nation's electricity. Bisconti Research Inc. has conducted the biennial plant neighbor surveys since 2005. Specifically:

  • 89 percent of those surveyed have a favorable impression of the nuclear plant closest to where they live.
  • 83 percent give the plant a high rating for safety.
  • 69 percent would find it acceptable to add a new reactor at the nearby nuclear power plant, assuming more electricity were needed.
  • 73 percent agree that more nuclear power plants should definitely be built in the future.

"Nuclear plant neighbors have strongly and consistently supported nuclear energy in every biennial survey we have conducted over the past 10 years," said Ann Bisconti, president of Bisconti Research. "Plant neighbors feel quite well informed about the nearby nuclear power plant, they are confident in management's ability to operate the plant safely and protect the environment, and they recognize jobs and other benefits to the local economy that the plant provides. The surveys show that NIMBY does not apply at these locations."

The survey, conducted for the Nuclear Energy Institute by Bisconti Research with Quest Global Research Group, included adults who live within 10 miles of the 60 sites where 99 reactors operate. Performed May 26 through June 13, the national sample included 1,080 residents age 18 and older interviewed by landline and cell phone. The survey excluded households with persons who work at nuclear power plants. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Plant neighbors' broad and deep support for nuclear energy is consistent with results measured historically through this attitudinal research. This includes findings that support for nuclear energy is higher among people living close to nuclear power plants than it is among the general public.

The latest survey found that 90 percent of respondents believe nuclear energy will be important in meeting the nation's electricity needs in the years ahead, with 60 percent believing nuclear energy will be "very important." Ninety-one percent agree with renewing the license of nuclear power plants that continue to meet federal safety standards, and 66 percent "strongly agree." Eighty-three percent agree that electric utilities should prepare now so that new nuclear power plants could be built if needed in the next decade, and 51 percent "strongly agree."

Favorable perceptions of the nuclear facilities' contribution to economy and jobs, as well as the company's community involvement, also help to explain the high level of support. Eighty-nine percent agree that nuclear plants help the local economy; 65 percent "strongly agree." Eighty-nine percent agree that there are good jobs for local people at the plant and in businesses that support the plant; 61 percent "strongly agree." And 81 percent agree that the company is involved in the community; 49 percent "strongly agree."

"These findings, repeated in six national surveys, provide one more validation of the clear finding that most plant neighbors hold favorable attitudes toward their plant," Bisconti said. "They once again show that familiarity with nuclear energy leads to support. They also show that companies achieve favorable attitudes by operating the plants safely, tending to the environment, providing value to the community, and reaching out to neighbors."

The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry's policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available at www.nei.org.

CONTACT: Contact NEI's media relations staff at media@nei.org, 202.739.8000 during business hours or 703.644.8805 after hours and weekends.

Source:Nuclear Energy Institute