Nuclear option nixed by 50% on energy policy poll

Kyodo

A government opinion poll on future energy policy options showed Wednesday that nearly 50 percent of respondents want atomic power off the table by 2030.

The “deliberative polling” study was conducted by a government committee earlier this month as one of its means of collecting public opinion in seeking to formulate a new energy mix in light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that started last year.

The polling involved a two-day discussion event among about 290 randomly selected people, and checked their opinion three times, twice before the debate and once after. It showed that the more participants were informed on energy issues, the greater their support for reducing the nuclear reliance to zero by 2030.

The government conducted the polling, developed by Stanford University professor James Fishkin, for the first time to hear public opinion on the three government-proposed options for nuclear energy’s share of the total power supply mix in 2030: zero percent, 15 percent and 20 to 25 percent — compared with 26 percent in 2010.

The survey organizing committee, headed by Keio University professor Yasunori Sone, said the percentage of people who supported the zero nuclear reliance option stood at 32.6 percent in the first survey. It increased to 41.1 percent in the second survey after participants were asked to study distributed materials, and rose to 46.7 percent in the third and final survey, held after the debate.