Opposition to Nuclear Expands After Disaster in Japan

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sean Garren, (301) 541-8675, seang@environmentamerica.org

Opposition to Nuclear Expands After Disaster in Japan

WASHINGTON - The Civil Society Institute and research firm ORC International released a survey today that found a substantial opposition to nuclear power amongst Americans  after disaster struck the Fukushima plant in Japan. The poll found that 53% of Americans support a moratorium on new nuclear construction, and more than three in four Americans (76%) are more supportive now of making a transition from nuclear power to renewable energy, like wind and solar, than they were a month ago.

Environment America’s Clean Energy Advocate, Sean Garren, issued the following statement:

“This poll shows what we have long known; when Americans know the real risk of nuclear they know it isn’t worth it.  The events unfolding in Japan have been a wake-up call for Americans about the dangers of nuclear power. Our current use of nuclear power is gambling with the environment and our families’ health. Unfortunately, in Japan Mother Nature has yet again proven stronger than anything we can design.

“We have now seen that the consequences of losing this bet are enormous. There have been and will continue to be many long-term effects of this disaster in Japan, like massive contamination of crops and seafood, uninhabitable swaths of land around the reactor and increased likelihood of cancer in people exposed to radiation.

“Japan is a long ways away from us, but Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is not.  Calvert Cliffs is just 43 miles from my home in Washington, and if the worst were to happen here it would be my friends and family the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was telling to evacuate and leave our home behind. I cannot believe there is any gain that is worth that risk.

“We must act now to ensure the relative safety of existing plants, put a moratorium on any new plants, and begin to phase out our use of nuclear power. In all cases the process should start, but not end, with plants on fault lines, near coasts or large bodies of water, in the hurricane zone or of the same design as the reactors in Japan.  We can and must move away from energy technologies that put our environment and families’ health at massive risk and repower our country with clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar power.”

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Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Our professional staff in 27 states and Washington, D.C., combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for the environment. Environment America draws on 30 years of success in tackling environmental problems.

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