A bare majority of Americans view nuclear power as safe but 64 percent oppose building new plants. Four in 10 say they have less confidence in the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed
Support for building nuclear power plants has waxed and waned in the past 30 years. In the late 1970s half were in favor but public support began to decline after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania and was down to 19 percent after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Support rebounded to 44 percent in 2008 before dropping to 33 percent in the new poll, the Post reported.
Republican support for new plants was at 60 percent in 2008 but has now dropped to 37 percent. Support for the plants also fluctuates by gender with women more opposed to the plants than men. Opposition to new plants is 20 percent higher among women and 14 percent more women say the plants are unsafe, the Post said.
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