Nuclear Power: The Least Popular Form of Energy Generation Among Australians

Poll Results Show Australians Remain Hesitant to Embrace Nuclear

Nuclear power narrowly outpaces coal as the most unpopular source of energy generation, according to a DemosAU poll of 2251 Australians.

The poll, carried out online from October 1 to 9, showed Australians, on the whole, had a negative view of both coal and nuclear power, the only forms of electricity generation to record net negative scores.

Nationwide, nuclear had a net score of -8%, which means the number of Australians with a negative view of the power source was 8 points higher than the number who had a positive view (27% positive, 35% negative, 38% neutral).

Coal had a net score of -7%.

Solar was the most popular form of power generation, with a net score of +73%, followed by Hydro on +57%, Wind on +54% and Gas on 21%.

This research shows widespread public support for renewable energy sources, across all demographics,” DemosAU Head of Research George Hasanakos said.

“In terms of fossil fuel sources, gas sits apart from coal and nuclear with a positive net rating, but with a high neutral rating of 48%, a large swathe of the Australian public is yet to be swayed on its merits as an energy source for the future.”

Mr Hasanakos said Nuclear trailed coal across every demographic, except men and 45-54 and above 55, among whom it had a net score of +5% a +27%, though it still trailed both gas and renewables among these cohorts.

LNP Voters Are Positive About Nuclear Power, All Other Voters are Negative

Nuclear Power Popularity Australia

It was also the least popular form of power generation across every cohort of voters, recording net negative scores among ALP, Greens, One Nation and Undecided voters.

There was notably more support for Nuclear among LNP voters, following Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s embrace of the energy source with a net score of +17%, though this was well below the positive ratings shown for renewable sources by this cohort, including solar with has a net score of +65%.

“Negative attitudes towards nuclear power extend past the left-right fault lines – with net negative scores among One Nation and Other party voters,” he said.

“And Undecided voters are even more likely to view Nuclear in a negative light than Labor voters – with only 17% recording a positive view of it as an energy source, and a net score of -21 overall.”

Find out more about these results in our Energy Report 2023.

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