Feeds

British warming to NUKES after Fukushima meltdown

Wizz for atomms!

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.