Over half (57%) of Americans believe that a new independent federal authority would do a better job at managing the nation's used nuclear fuel, according to a new poll conducted in September on behalf of the US Nuclear Energy Institute. The results show a marked increase in support compared to a similar poll in February 2013.
Of the 1000 American surveyed in September, 57% said they believe that an independent federal authority with a corporate-style board would better manage a waste storage facility. Thirty-seven percent voiced a preference for a "federal government agency," according to the national survey conducted by Bisconti Research Inc. with Quest Global Research.
A similar poll in February 2013, found 49% of American thought a government agency would do a better job, compared with 43% for an independent federal authority.
"The shift reflects growing lack of public confidence in the federal government's ability to accomplish anything," said Bisconti Research President Ann Bisconti.
The survey also found strong public support for consolidated storage of used nuclear fuel rods, with 84% of American saying they believe "the United States should retool its program for managing spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear power plants to focus on consolidating the fuel rods at storage centers while the nation develops a permanent disposal facility."
Nuclear energy facilities operating in 31 states produce around 20% of the electricity in the United States.
Photo: Spent fuel storage at a US reactor site (Source; NRC)