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Evan Schultheis @EvanSchultheis
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So about a week ago I put together a survey on Nuclear Power opinions and awareness among internet users. After 215 responses and several days of no activity, I figured I had a pretty decent response. Here are the results (Thread) (1/?)
Of 215 participants, 24.2% of them said that they lived within 50km of a nuclear power plant. When asked whether their local power plant engaged in public education about nuclear energy, I had more responses than people who said they lived near a plant. (2/?)
So this one is a bit baffling, but I think we can infer that those who stated "yes" probably were the ones who lived within the radius of a power plant. But even so, it seems like "No" and "I don't know" are still big chunks. IMO, plants need to do more public engagement. (3/?)
I live next to the Catawba Nuclear station, and the only thing they ever seem to do is hand out the yearly calendar with evacuation info. (4)
Anyways moving on. 89.8% of participants believed that modern and next-generation nuclear reactors are safe. Only 6.1% disagreed. Seems straightforward enough. (5)
This one was an up-front question, and specified as caused by radiation. The correct answer to this question *technically* is 50-100, as 58 people have died as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident. 45.1% of participants guessed within about that range. (6)
Now this one is interesting. I worded this one differently to include events *related* to an accident. That means the evacuation, emergency response, etc. A majority of participants (46%) believed that radiation was the largest contributing factor. (7)
The correct answer isn't straightforward although stress-related illness seems to cover the majority of the deaths of the ~2205 people who died from non-radiation induced illnesses due to poor evacuation management after Fukushima. (8)
We don't really know how many died from evacuation mismanagement from Chernobyl. But the evidence says that evacuation may not be the best policy in the event of an accident.

In the rainbow of slices one of the participants replied with "old age." Heh. (9)
Work-related accidents got about 3 mentions. There have been about 50ish work-related accidents that resulted in death in the nuclear power industry, last I checked. If someone has that number that would be great. (10)
Following up on that question, 51.2% of participants believed Solar was the safest energy source, followed by Nuclear at 18.6%. The correct answer, technically, statistically, is nuclear, at 0.0012 deaths per TWh of generation. (11)
Estimates for deaths caused by renewables are shoddy though. Most only look at wind turbine fires and falls. I don't think there's any data on exposure to toxins from renewable wastes. If someone has a study on that, it would also be great. (12)
Another straightforward one. Here I was mostly referring to capacity factor but because it's an opinion survey, I left it vague. 60% answered Nuclear, which is technically correct with a capacity factor of 90% or higher. Geothermal was next highest (CF of ~80%). (13)
On roughly similar grounds I asked which source was most efficient, which referred primarily to energy density. Again, nuclear was technically the correct answer, which 68.4% of participants identified. (14)
Moving on, this one came out in kind-of-sort-of equal slices. In terms of emissions, Wind is technically the correct answer according to the IPCC, at 11g CO2-eq per kWh, followed by Nuclear at 12, Hydro at 24, and Solar at 48. The largest portion had answered solar. (15)
And following up on that I asked about life cycle waste. Most participants correctly guessed coal. Nuclear was the largest minority at 9.8%, followed by Biomass. The second largest source is arguably Natural Gas or Oil, depending on how you construct the argument. (16)
When asked about high-level nuclear waste, 48.3% of participants thought we had adequate solutions, while 39.5% did not. Spent fuel remains a split issue. (17)
When asked about spent fuel reprocessing and fast neutron reactors, 60.5% of participants responded positively. The majority of the rest responded with "I don't know" or "Maybe", which is indicative that they want to see the technology successfully demonstrated. (18)
This was another interesting one. 26% of participants thought solar was the most expensive energy source, while 20.5% thought Nuclear was. What answer is technically correct? That's up for debate. According to LAZARD Rooftop Solar and Diesel compete for that spot. (19)
But the answer really isn't clear cut. In the west Nuclear and Renewables, per kWh of generation, are actually roughly equal in cost. Batteries and transmission lines tend to give nuclear a slight edge in cost against renewables. OTOH, Gas-fired peakers put renewables ahead. (20)
When asked about subsidies, although this varies from country to country, 37.7% correctly guessed that Solar receives the most subsidies. A large portion also picked coal. I can't speak for the rest of the world but Coal doesn't receive as much as it used to in the US. (21)
Moving on, 89.3% of participants supported Nuclear Fusion. Unsurprisingly, 94.4% knew that Fusion was a form of nuclear power. I always found it weird that Fusion doesn't have the same stigma associated with it. (22)
Of the participants, a surprising number were optimistic about the chances of achieving a viable fusion reactor by 2050. Only 16.7% definitively said "no", there would not be one available by 2050. (23)
I guess that explains why 80.9% of participants thought fusion and fission needed more funding. (24)
This was also an interesting one. The bars from top to bottom are: electric power, medicine, manufacturing process heat, maritime propulsion, spacecraft propulsion, water desalination, ammonia production, hydrogen fuel cell production, carbon sequestration, and none. (25)
The rest of the responses below these bars were pretty much all "nuclear weapons." (26)
Following up on the question, 83.8% of participants believed that nuclear energy should be used for these other possible applications. (Presumably bombs included? I don't know.) (27)
At this point the survey moved on into nuclear power's role in climate change. 96.3% of participants stated climate change was real, of which 84.2% thought humans were the driving cause. 74.1% also believed it could be mitigated successfully. (28)
Of the world's primary energy source in 2050, it was a toss-up between Solar and Nuclear. Technically, the correct answer here is natural gas, at least according to current models. That may change, depending on what China does with its nuclear program. (29)
Interestingly, Nuclear won out when asked what energy source could do the most to mitigate climate change, at 51.6%, followed by Solar at 25.6%. This probably corresponds with the responses when asked about efficiency and reliability. (30)
When asked about climate targets 41.4% of respondents said their country/state had some form of target. But equally just as many had no idea, and 18.6% said their polity had no goal. (31)
Okay now this is where things get interesting. 66.5% of participants thought that a 100% renewable energy system was the ideal model for our energy supply, but 81.3% thought nuclear energy was part of the solution. (32)
This suggests either nuclear power is viewed as a transitional step, or is equated with/as a form of renewable energy by a significant portion of respondents. But my guess is that they view it as a transitional step. (33)
When asked if environmental advocacy groups should support nuclear power (Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, etc.), 74.9% of participants agreed that they should. (33)
This one was straightforward and corresponds with much of the survey: 93.5% of participants thought better education about nuclear energy is needed. (34)
Some simple questions about whether or not climate change or nuclear energy is relevant to participants' voting practices. (34)
Age division of particpants (26-40 is divided into two slices due to a typo I had to fix). (35)
Participants' countries of origin. The majority were from the US, but Aussieland, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the UK also had significant presences. Most of the small slices were European although SK, Japan, and some others are in there too. (36)
When asked what state they were from, the largest slices were Texas, Washington, Florida, Cali, and Pennsylvania, although there were people from about 30 states who replied. (37)
Education division. I forgot to include Engineering, Law, and a few others so "Other" is the largest portion here. Altogether, it does seem ~50% of participants came from a STEM background. (38)
Finally political affilations. All across the board here. (39)
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