Opinion Polls Differ On Restarting San Onofre

Monday, October 8, 2012
By Alison St John

Before a major NRC public meeting tomorrow on the status of San Onofre, the operator and an environmental group have both released public opinion polls.

Southern California Edison’s poll shows 60 percent of people living around the plant support continuing to use nuclear power as one way to provide electricity in California.

Sixty-five percent would support restarting San Onofre if the NRC gives its approval.

However, a poll by Friends of the Earth, which believes the power plant should be shut down, found 58 percent of nearby residents support a shutdown. This was after the situation was described with no mention of Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversight.

The FOE poll found more than half of those polled think nuclear power plants operating in California are safe, but only a quarter are not concerned about the possibility of a nuclear accident.

Interestingly, both polls showed a majority (58 percent) support replacing nuclear power with renewable resources like wind and solar. The Edison poll got that response even when people were reminded it could mean new transmission lines are built through their neighborhoods.