Feeds

British warming to NUKES after Fukushima meltdown

Wizz for atomms!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Despite the massive and often neurotically inaccurate Western media coverage of the Fukushima nuclear accident, British public confidence in nuclear power has increased. In a poll by Populus for the British Science Association, 41 per cent of respondents said the benefits of nuclear power outweighed the risks – up 3 per cent.

It's a striking contrast to Germany, where politicians bowed to the "Green" fringe and the vowed to end the country’s nuclear programme – a move that will increase reliance on "dirty" coal and increase energy costs.

Britain opened the world's first nuclear reactor in 1956, but can no longer be described as a pioneer.

So what can explain this?

Perhaps the British public isn’t as stupid as the media – and many environmentalist campaigners – seem to think. Perhaps they were impressed by the resilience of the rattling, 40-year-old steam kettle at Fukushima that went into full meltdown – but which has yet to cause one fatality.

(The word "meltdown" no longer has that mythical resonance in the popular imagination that it did in the 1970s when it was a signifier for the beginning of the end of the world. As we noted here, we have now seen several, with minimal damage).

What the poll certainly indicates is that people are more rational than scaremongers suggest – and perfectly capable of performing risk analysis, weighing up the costs and benefits of a technology. This is hard to imagine happening without the internet as a source of information.

So it may be back to the drawing board for Greens, who seem to have lost their Kryptonite: the ability to steer people towards policy goals by scaring them witless. We've become numb to so many of these Chicken Little moments, and consequently have become a lot more sceptical when someone bursts into the room, screaming that some plan must be implemented immediately, and there's no alternative, or time to lose. Since so much environmental policy now requires the Precautionary Principle – the suspension of rational cost/benefit analysis – this poses serious problems for the Greens, an issue climate activist Mark Lynas confronts head-on in his new book.

Lynas admits that his former opposition to GM foods "wasn’t a science-based rational thing. It was an emotional thing and it was about the relation between humans and other living things".

Public support for nuclear energy has increased steadily in the past decade. Interestingly there is a gender gap opening up – with women much more fearful of nuclear energy, and men increasingly supporting it. What does that tell us? Answers below. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.