Just before the State of the Union Address (January 16-18), Zogby International teamed with UPI to conduct a poll of 6,909 Americans about their views with regard to energy. A summary of the results of the poll are available at the Zogby International web site:
The most interesting comment from my point of view was the one buried at the end of the list of results:
Almost two–thirds of adult Americans (63%) believe nuclear power is safe and that the U.S. should build more nuclear plants to help meet the nation’s future energy needs, the UPI/Zogby Interactive poll shows. The majority (62%) of those who favor new nuclear power plants said they wouldn’t object to having one built in their own back yard. (emphasis added) However, Americans do have grave concerns about the current regulatory scheme in place to guarantee the safety of those plants, the survey shows.
Unfortunately, the poll summary did not delineate any of the concerns expressed about the regulatory scheme. For example, I would have expressed reservations about the cost and time required for the licensing process and about the ability of the NRC to impose huge fines and operating costs without any judicial review. I would have tried to make it clear that I was far less concerned about whether or not the industry was sufficiently regulated to ensure safe operations. There is PLENTY of regulation.