Nuclear energy is losing popularity. A recent Gallup poll found that a slim majority of Americans — 51 percent — say they favor nuclear energy for electricity generation in the United States, while 43 percent say they oppose it. This year’s support levels are among the weakest Gallup has recorded in the last two decades. With a 46 percent approval rating, 2001 was the only year support sank lower.
Public approval of nuclear energy peaked in 2010 at 62 percent, shortly after President Barack Obama announced $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia. The new, roughly 1,200 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, are the first to be built in the U.S. in three decades.