A new research-informed campaign has been launched to dispel myths and inform the public about nuclear energy after a JWS Research study finds more Australians support lifting the ban on the use of nuclear power than oppose it.
The research was commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and conducted in early to mid-October 2019 including focus groups in Sydney and Melbourne and a quantitative survey of 1500 Australians.
The MCA argues that one prerequisite for nuclear power, community support, could be achieved if the public are properly informed about the technology. “The more people learn about it, the greater the support for nuclear energy,” said Minerals Council chief executive Tania Constable.
Results from the research show support for nuclear energy rising to 47 per cent when respondents are presented a range of positive and negative factors of nuclear power. Support for nuclear power grew to 55 per cent when survey participants were asked whether they would accept lifting the nuclear power ban in Australia if they knew that a majority of Australians supported it.
Based on recommendations made in the JWS Research report that low-level concerns about the cost of nuclear energy could be countered and its reliability and zero-emissions credentials promoted, MCA has launched a public information campaign aimed at addressing those concerns. The campaign includes ads across social media like the one below titled, ‘Nuclear energy – what are we afraid of?‘
“We have been encouraged by that research,” Minerals Council chief executive Tania Constable said. “We think it is a much more balanced view than it would have been a few years ago.”
MCA Chief Tania Constable argues that the JWS Research study results should encourage action, “Any government serious about addressing climate change must be looking at nuclear, the zero-emissions foundation of electricity systems across the globe.”