We hear the word nuclear often within the EcoRight community. Our EcoRight Speaks podcast episode with Florida Congressman Byron Donalds features his support for nuclear energy. Give it a listen here. Or read our Meet the EcoRight interview with Cyndi Berck from California to see her viewpoint on the topic.
Sean D. in Kansas is the brainchild for June’s poll, writing that he is “interested in what people think about clean, renewable nuclear energy.”
Here is what we found:
Poll answers represent republicEn members across 39 states and the District of Columbia. California submitted the most responses for the 2nd poll in a row, followed by Texas and Florida. The political leaning of poll takers: 48% lean right, 36% claim center, 15% lean left, and 1% are unsure or prefer not to say.
There were so many shares from our republicEn members this poll that it was hard to choose which ones to feature. I’ve organized them into pronuclear, anti-nuclear, and undecided. Note: inclusion of statements from republicEn members isn’t necessarily reflective of republicEn’s thoughts and opinions.
- “Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), built in factories, delivered by truck, fueled on site with low grade uranium fuel to power community microgrids, should be the primary element of any future nuclear power plant. SMRs could also augment large nuclear power plants and use the ‘spent fuel’ from the large reactors.” – Jack M. in Missouri
- “I think any serious discussion of clean energy needs to include nuclear power on some level. Solar and other renewables are great, but have drawbacks. No solution is perfect or without a footprint from construction or materials, but hunting for perfection deprives us of a source of very clean energy with a small physical footprint and a very large energy output. There are factors that need to be taken into account, such as waste disposal or reuse, but modern plants are not built like Chernobyl, don’t have the flaws of Three Mile Island, and most are not subject to the combination of earthquake and tsunami that impacted the Fukushima plant. We should learn from these, but not let them keep us from using nuclear to jumpstart a cleaner energy future.” – Leah M. in Connecticut
- “I’m a member of MIT alumni for climate action and many in our group favor nuclear plants not only for climate change reasons but for political reasons as well. We must not let Russia and China dominate this powerful export market both for reactors and fuel.” – Claude G. in Florida
- “Reliable. This is the most critical word to describe why modular nuclear energy must be part of the conversation. I strongly believe that it would attract support from the ‘far middle’ of voters. Every time I hear only ‘wind and solar’ I cringe because it means that we are not sincere in our desire to deliver reliable energy worldwide.” – Glenn B. in Georgia
- “Nuclear has been identified as the safest form of energy generation when considering deaths per terawatt. The biggest concerns I have are equity in the mining phase and lost opportunity in fuel recycling. ” – Alison S. in Pennsylvania
- “Just as the FDIC keeps our bank accounts safe I believe regulation and government oversight of nuclear energy is an an important pillar to keeping nuclear energy safe.” – Colette M. in Kansas
- “Nukes are EXPENSIVE. I would rather be conservative with my money and build things that don’t pollute and are less costly – like wind. We also need to build out our transmission infrastructure. Both rural energy source and rural transmission can provide payouts to rural landowners. Win win win.” – Norm W. in Texas
- “Clean? Renewable? Are you nuts or are you propagandists? Nuclear = cancer. Not clean. Nuclear energy relies on a mined substance. Not renewable.” – Charlotte G. in California
- “I live in New Mexico where we have been targeted to receive ALL of the spent fuel rods that this country ever built. We already are receiving military radioactive waste that is disposed in WIPP. I’ve been studying nuclear issues for 40 years so I know that nuclear power is not green, is not sustainable, has its own carbon footprint in set up, mining and building the plants etc. and has no real solution for the waste which is dangerous and highly toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. We still have no final disposal for this waste–only a phony plan to ‘store’ it in my state in shallow ‘interim storage’ which will soon become permanent disposal. Nuclear is NOT the solution.” – Sandra M. in New Mexico
- “We have had 50 years and still have no long term solution for Nuclear Waste. Geo thermal closed loop systems would provide all the power we could get from Nuclear at half the LCOE. ” – Frank H. in Colorado
- “With a strong carbon price, the market can decide if nuclear deserves to be in the mix (I imagine it would). ” – Kodiak S. in New Jersey
- “I honestly don’t know enough about nuclear to have an opinion either way. That’s a really good question. ” – Mark M. in Kentucky
July officially marks 6 months that I’ve been working with republicEn. Hurrah! One of the favorite aspects of my job is reading the free-form poll responses. And believe you me, I read every single one. I appreciate the opinions and stories you share, so I will pick up the sharing stick and share one of my own.
Like many of you, I don’t know much about modern nuclear technology. Here is what I do know: I watched HBO’s 2019 miniseries Chernobyl, and it made my skin crawl. Thinking about it now, it makes my skin crawl. But here is what else I know: the Chernobyl meltdown happened in 1986 – 36 years ago. To put it in perspective, the original Nintendo was the hot new gaming system; IBM released its 1st laptop (see the picture above), and teenagers talked for hours on phones plugged into solid, unmoveable walls. I sincerely hope nuclear technology has improved since then, and I’m opened-minded enough to find out. Here is a genuine thank you to any republicEn members who shared links to websites or resources regarding nuclear energy – for or against! I will peruse them all.
Thank you for being part of the EcoRight community!
—Angela and the republicEn team