Political Science Professor Aseem Prakash writes with colleagues in Penn State's The Regulatory Review on support for nuclear energy might be higher than most think.
The climate crisis means that the electricity sector will be playing an ever-important role in the future. Think of the electrification of the automobile industry, where electricity replaces gas and diesel as the fuel. Or think of the increased use of fans and air conditioners to counter heatwaves. How would this additional demand for electricity be met? Much of the discussion has focused on solar and wind. Nuclear energy remains a taboo subject. One objection is the NIMBY syndrome: communities may support nuclear as long it is not in their backyard.
Drawing on our published research that communities in Japan actually support restarting of nuclear plants which were shut down in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Opposition to nuclear energy can be mitigated if its proponents focus on nuclear’s local benefits – local jobs and air pollution, instead of global climate benefits.