Tuesday, March 27, 2012

US Public Opinion About Nuclear Power Has Amazing Gender Difference

Fukushima did not cause the US public to cut and run on nuclear power, according to a poll by Gallup.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/153452/Americans-Favor-Nuclear-Power-Year-Fukushima.aspx.  US public support for nuclear power stood at 57% in 1994; 57% in 2011 before Fukushima; and is 57% in 2012.  The consistency is remarkable and makes one wonder if Gallup is really doing a poll (joking of course).  The overall support for nuclear power conceals a truly remarkable gender difference in opinion.

 Men overwhelmingly support nuclear power 72% to 27%.  Women actually oppose nuclear power, with 51% opposing and 42% supporting.  Men support nuclear power by 30 points more than women do.  Women oppose nuclear power by 24% points more than men do.  That is one of the bigger gender differences that I have ever seen on an issue.

Other interesting facts in the Gallup poll are that the high point of support for nuclear power was 62% in 2010 and the low point was 46% in 2001.  I am not sure what drove those numbers in those years.  Perhaps it is nothing more than polling variability or noise.  Or perhaps it has something to do with the economic times of 2001 and 2010.

Bottom line is that US support for nuclear power remains strong and steady, though the issue has one of the biggest gender differences that I have ever seen.


  1. I have observed a similar gender difference in polls about gas drilling/fracking.

    Stanley R Scobie, Ph.D. Binghamton, NY

  2. Thanks for pointing out the gender gap - I hadn't noticed that, though I am not surprised. If you think of a nuclear plant as a big hot rod, that might be some of it.

    FYI: I've worked in the US nuclear industry for years, and have written a profile of real life in a nukeplant in good times, and what it might be like in bad times. I have posted this book online free. The novel "Rad Decision" is available at my homepage (or just google the title). Lay persons seem to find it both informative and entertaining, judging from their homepage comments. (The media has shown little interest – too busy, I guess.) Though the book was written prior to the Japanese tragedy, the reactor profiled is similar in design to Fukushima and the climactic event also bears a resemblance. There are no advertisements on the Rad Decision site and I have no sponsors or corporate or activist backing. (I’m not interested in writing propaganda.)

    There are compelling arguments against nuclear (duh!) and arguments for it. We'll make better decisions about our energy future if we first understand our energy present. Rad Decision might help that a bit.