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Public opinion in UK – overwhelming support for solar and wind energy

The UK’s general public is overwhelmingly supportive in building new
wind and solar farms in order to tackle the ongoing cost of energy crisis,
according to Survation. Identified within polling released by Survation and
commissioned by RenewableUK, the data showcased that almost every
constituency in the UK is in favour of developing renewable generation
sites in a bid to reduce the cost of energy.

In fact, 77% of people in the
UK believe the government should use new wind and solar farms to reduce
electricity bills, with 76% of people also in support of building renewable
energy projects in their local area, according to Survation’s data.

This contradicts the new prime Minister, Liz Truss’ previous statement about
solar farms being “paraphernalia”, as in fact the majority of the
general public thoroughly support the development of these farms to tackle
the energy crisis. Causing a further headache for Truss is the fact that
84% of those who backed the Tories at the last election now urge the
government to use new wind and solar farms to cut electricity bills. 81% of
2019 Tory voters also support a renewable energy project being developed in
their local area.

 Current 8th Sept 2022

September 19, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, public opinion, UK | Leave a comment

Billionaires from USA and Denmark have inordinate influence on public opinion about molten salt nuclear reactors

 Elon Musk and Bill Gates are the two best-known (energy) billionaires, but
there are many more that invest their money in energy innovation.
Denmark’s richest man is a big investor in a startup that researches
molten salt as a form of energy storage. The perception of energy
billionaires often influences the opinion of the general public vis-a-vis
certain energy innovations. 

Oil Price 22nd May 2022

May 26, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, public opinion | Leave a comment

Americans Divided on Nuclear Energy

News Gallup poll. BY LYDIA SAAD, 20 May 22


  • 51% of Americans favor, 47% oppose nuclear energy, similar to 2019
  • Recent views contrast with 2004 to 2015, when majorities backed it
  • Republicans and independents in favor, but not Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans are evenly split on whether nuclear energy should be a source of electricity in the U.S., with 51% in favor and 47% opposed. Three years ago, the two camps were tied at 49%, while in 2016, the majority (54%) opposed nuclear power.

Americans’ relatively limited support for nuclear energy in recent years contrasts with more solid backing from 2004 to 2015, when majorities of between 53% and 62% favored it.

……………………….. As Gallup has found previously, support for nuclear energy also differs sharply by gender, while it varies modestly by education. Older adults are slightly more positive than those younger than 55, but differences by age have been less consistent over time.

  • Sixty-three percent of men versus 39% of women are in favor of using nuclear energy for electricity.
  • Support by education ranges from 57% of college graduates to 50% of those with some college experience and 45% of those with no college.
  • A 57% majority of adults 55 and older favor nuclear energy, compared with half of 18- to 34-year-olds and 45% of those aged 35 to 54.


May 21, 2022 Posted by | public opinion, USA | Leave a comment

Energy Department’s own survey shows 8 in 10 Britons support onshore wind – and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities says the Government should back it

Whilst government ministers continue to deride onshore wind as
‘unpopular’, the energy department’s recent public survey shows
otherwise – with 8 in 10 Britons surveyed expressing their support for
the technology, over twice the number endorsing new nuclear – leading the
Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) to urge the UK government to back it.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has
collected data every quarter since 2012, recording responses from the
public to a range of energy related questions. The latest public attitude
survey was carried out over the Winter of 2021/22 and published at the end
of last month.

The results reveal continued strong support for renewables,
with onshore wind receiving a favourable response. Contrary to the myth
that onshore wind is unpopular, only 4% of those surveyed registered their
opposition, with 8 in 10 saying they supported it. By way of contrast only
37% of participants supported the development of nuclear energy and only
17% supported the resumption of fracking for shale gas. The government’s
own UK Energy Security Strategy concedes that ‘Onshore wind is one of the
cheapest forms of renewable power’, yet there has been no public funding
made available, nor any target for new generation set, with only a vague
promise to ‘consult this year on developing local partnerships for a
limited number of supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind
infrastructure in return for benefits, including lower energy bills’.

 NFLA 20th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, public opinion, renewable | Leave a comment

Nearly half of Americans concerned about nuclear war amid Russia-Ukraine invasion

half of Americans concerned about nuclear war amid Russia-Ukraine invasion
by: The Associated Press via Nexstar Media Wire

Mar 28, 2022  WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s war on Ukraine has most Americans at least somewhat worried that the U.S. will be drawn directly into the conflict and could be targeted with nuclear weapons, with a new poll reflecting a level of anxiety that has echoes of the Cold War era.

Close to half of Americans say they are very concerned that Russia would directly target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, and an additional three in 10 are somewhat concerned about that, according to the new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his country’s nuclear forces on high alert shortly after the Feb. 24 invasion.

Roughly nine in 10 Americans are at least somewhat concerned that Putin might use a nuclear weapon against Ukraine, including about six in 10 who are very concerned………

March 29, 2022 Posted by | public opinion, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Some Brits not very impressed with their government’s newbound love affair with nuclear power.

Nuclear energy push is not powered by sense  Readers fail to see the logic behind the government’s drive to go for the nuclear option to generate electricity

There is much about this government’s – and, to its shame, Labour’s – newfound love affair with nuclear power that makes no sense (Johnson announces aim for UK to get 25% of electricity from nuclear power, 21 March).

First, you cannot just turn off a nuclear power station. If we have 25% of our electricity generated by nuclear, then on days when all our needs can be met by renewables we will have to turn off 25% of our much cheaper renewable feed while using expensive, taxpayer-subsidised nuclear generation.

Second, we have no way of dealing with the mountains of dangerous high-level and intermediate-level waste that has been accruing since the 1950s. To generate more is sheer madness.

Third, nuclear power stations are vulnerable to the elements and to hostile attack – cyber, terrorist, state actors etc. Recent events in the Ukraine make this very real.

Fourth, the old argument about what we do when the wind isn’t blowing and the skies are overcast over the whole of the UK, which doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny now, falls away completely if we were to invest just a small amount of the taxpayer money that will go to the nuclear industry into research and development of electricity storage.

Finally, given the nuclear industry’s track record of bringing in plants well over budget, decades late, the proposed programme is not going to be realised until 2060 at the earliest. Why on earth are we contemplating it?
John French
Brockweir, Gloucestershire

Your report states that “electricity demand is expected to rise steadily in the next decade”. The same justification was used in 2006, when the Labour government first committed to further nuclear power stations. Based on the official forecasts issued in 2006, we should by now be consuming at least 15% more electricity than we were then.

But we are not. UK electricity consumption has in practice gone down by more than 15% since 2006. In the interim, no new nuclear power stations have been added to the system. It hasn’t collapsed, and is far less carbon-intensive.

Surely we aren’t getting fooled again by the same spurious rhetoric about endless consumption growth? In that immortal phrase of the 1970s: “Save it. You know it makes sense.”
Andrew Warren
Chairman, British Energy Efficiency Federatio

 The dash to fossil fuels is not the environmental disaster set out by António Guterres (Ukraine war threatens global heating goals, warns UN chief, 21 March). It is, at worst, the replacement of existing hydrocarbons purchased from Russia. In the longer term, it is clear that alternative renewable energy sources will displace fossil fuels and most countries will wish to do this as quickly as possible.

he government’s desire, supported by Labour, for increased nuclear power generation is bizarre. A wind turbine capable of producing 15MW can be installed offshore for £10m. Sizewell C is expected to cost £20bn and produce 3.2GW of electricity – this does not include decommissioning costs. To generate 3.2GW would need 214 turbines costing £3.2bn, albeit some money would need to be spent on storage capacity. The government plans to invest £1.7bn in Sizewell C. How is spending more than five times as much on a controversial power source that takes 10 years to build a good idea?
John Blanning

March 24, 2022 Posted by | public opinion, UK | Leave a comment

Public Opposition to Nuclear Power

Public Opposition to Nuclear Power. 19, 2022

Nuclear power is not popular with the public in most countries. After the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, a global Ipsos survey put global public opposition at 62% averaged out, with it being much higher in some countries e.g. 79% in Germany.  94% voted against it in a referendum in Italy in the wake of Fukushima. 

While opposition remain strong in most places around the world, with concerns about climate change rising, there have been some shifts in view in some countries, for example, in the USA , at least according to a survey by Bisconti. But even in countries that are relatively pro-nuclear, public support for it is not that strong. For example, it was reportedly at 38% in 2021 in the UK, compared to 79% support level for renewables, with just 2% opposed to them. 

Though its strength may have varied over time, opposition to civil nuclear power has been a world-wide phenomenon attracting people in many countries. To some extent, it grew out of opposition to nuclear weapons, a grass roots response which expanded significantly in the 1960s in Europe in particular, and continued at varying levels right up to the end of the cold war in the late 1990s, and indeed exists still, as does the threat of nuclear war.  

Opposition specifically to civil nuclear power emerged in the early 1970s, but, although it drew on some of the same roots as opposition to atomic weapons, it took on its own character and dynamic. In particular, it reflected increasing generational conflicts and the rise of an ‘alternativist’ anti-establishment counter culture amongst young people in the West. It also reflected growing environmental concerns, and support for alternative energy, as indicted by the ubiquitous ‘smiling sun’ graphic part of ‘Nuclear Power? No thanks!’ campaign button that had originated in Denmark in 1975. 

Although at times quite militant, there was a preference, shared with the anti-bomb movement, for non-violent direct action/passive resistance. For example, in the USA, in the 1970’s there were mass peaceful demonstrations at nuclear sites, with, in May 1977 a 2,500 strong citizens ‘sit down’ occupation of the site of the proposed reactor at Seabrook in New Hampshire, leading to 1,400 people being arrested and detained. The late 1970s also saw some of the largest demonstrations against nuclear power in the UK, at the proposed site of the Torness nuclear power station in Scotland, with 5,000 demonstrating in 1978 and up to 10,000 the following year. 

Although at times quite militant, there was a preference, shared with the anti-bomb movement, for non-violent direct action/passive resistance. For example, in the USA, in the 1970’s there were mass peaceful demonstrations at nuclear sites, with, in May 1977 a 2,500 strong citizens ‘sit down’ occupation of the site of the proposed reactor at Seabrook in New Hampshire, leading to 1,400 people being arrested and detained. The late 1970s also saw some of the largest demonstrations against nuclear power in the UK, at the proposed site of the Torness nuclear power station in Scotland, with 5,000 demonstrating in 1978 and up to 10,000 the following year. 

However, that was avoided. Indeed, nuclear opposition, locally and globally, was subsequently renewed, reinforced and widened, with many new participants becoming involved, by nuclear accidents like that at Three Mile Island in the USA in 1979, Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986 and Fukushima in Japan in 2011. The industry certainly faced set back after each of these events, with public opposition increasing. For example, following the Three Mile Island accident, an anti-nuclear protest was held in New York City, involving 200,000 people; Chernobyl led to protests around the world, including up to 200,000 opposing Italy’s nuclear plans; and directly after Fukushima, 60,000 people marched in opposition to nuclear in central Tokyo and again, in 2012, 75,000 people joined a march, this in a country where public displays of dissention on any issue were rare.

Following Fukushima, opposition to nuclear spread across Asia. For example, 130,000 people took to the streets in Taiwan in March 2014 calling for a nuclear phase out. Strong local opposition also emerged in South Korea and Thailand and continued in India. From often being easily dismissed as a fringe, marginal movement, opposition to nuclear power was now wide spread, attracting large majorities (80% and above in polls) in many countries.

Looking back over the whole period, it has to be said that few proposed plants have been halted by direct action/protest campaigns, although they have arguably contributed to a change in political climate, for example in Germany & Spain, but then so did the accidents, e.g. in Asia, following the Fukushima plants spectacular demise. There has been a lot of scholarly research on what mobilises people to act on nuclear issues, much of it done after Fukushima, which clearly had a big impact.

However, so has economics. The progressively poor economics of nuclear has probably been the main reason why nuclear has been in decline in many places. Though there can be two-way interactions between political opposition, with for example linked public demands for improved safety, and the economics of nuclear power. Looking ahead, it may be that the increasingly poor economics and the slow delivery potential of nuclear power compared to renewables, which are clearly progressing, will now move even more people to an anti-nuclear/pro renewables position, including those who see climate change as needing an urgent response. And that may constrain nuclear further. 

The Bottom line 

Nuclear is not doing well. In the US, given the increasingly competitive alternatives, old nuclear plant closures continue, although some plants may be kept open for a while with subsidies (see my last post), and one new one is being built. Some small new plants may also be tested. But otherwise, nuclear is, in effect, phasing itself out there. In Asia, although Japan has restarted a few reactors, no new ones are planned. China is expanding renewables very dramatically, and although it, and India, are also continuing with nuclear expansion programmes, they are relatively small compared with their renewable programmes. Meanwhile, South Korea has continued with its nuclear phase out by 2030 policy. 

In Europe, the UK, France and Finland, as well as some Eastern European countries, still  back nuclear, but in addition to the well-known case of Germany, with its last plant scheduled to close by the end of the year, nuclear phase out commitments have also been made in Belgium, Spain, and Switzerland. As noted earlier, after Fukushima, Italy also voted overwhelmingly in a referendum not to go nuclear, a position already adopted by Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.  

All of which makes the recent statement from the pro-nuclear group Human Progress inaccurate as well as appalling: ‘Whereas a few months ago European Union bureaucrats drawing up the “taxonomy” that defines which energy sources would be considered carbon-free (i.e. valid substitutes for fossil fuels) excluded nuclear power, now nearly all except the fanatical Germanic states have reversed themselves. Indeed, the map of pro- and anti-nuclear Euro¬pean countries now closely resembles a map of World War II circa March 1945, shortly before the taking of the Ludendorff Bridge broke the last line of organised resistance in the Reich’. 

Well, it is usually the left that is chastised for playing the ideology card! See my next post…

February 21, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, public opinion | Leave a comment

Leaders say nuclear will save Kemmerer. Residents aren’t convinced.

when TerraPower announced in November that it would build a first-of-its-kind sodium-cooled nuclear reactor at the town’s Naughton Power Plant, community leaders exhaled at last. The project promised a lifeline, not just to the town, but to similarly coal-dependent Wyoming.

The people who claimed they didn’t have much to say about the project, the ones who actually had a lot to say — a lot of them didn’t feel like trailblazers. They felt more like guinea pigs.

Many were suspicious. Why, they asked, would TerraPower stick its flagship project in such a tiny, remote town? Was it because they were too desperate to protest? Too isolated for anyone to care if things went awry?…….

Leaders say nuclear will save Kemmerer. Residents aren’t convinced. Casper Star Tribune 
Nicole Pollack,  Jan 29, 2022 
The Star-Tribune visited Kemmerer this month to talk with the community about TerraPower’s nuclear plant. Energy reporter Nicole Pollack and photographer Lauren Miller will continue reporting from Kemmerer as the project develops.Roaming Kemmerer, asking people about the planned nuclear reactor, I expected excitement. Or trepidation. Or anger.

Apathy wasn’t on the list.

“We don’t really talk about it,” a retired miner told me as his fellow retirees — former coal miners and quarry workers and power plant operators — heckled one another around a senior center pool table.

Most of the Kemmerer residents I met said the same thing. They were familiar with the plan to replace their half-century-old coal plant with a nuclear reactor; did I know Bill Gates was behind it? Everyone, they assured me, was aware. They just didn’t have much more to say.

The energy sector is always changing, the miner said, and people in Kemmerer are used to riding out those booms and busts. Another boom isn’t anything special. So the project doesn’t come up in conversation very often.

He discusses it with his wife sometimes, though. The two of them speculate, nervously, about how a nuclear plant might change the tiny town they’ve called home for decades.

Coal’s demise hangs heavy over Kemmerer, and when TerraPower announced in November that it would build a first-of-its-kind sodium-cooled nuclear reactor at the town’s Naughton Power Plant, community leaders exhaled at last. The project promised a lifeline, not just to the town, but to similarly coal-dependent Wyoming. Gov. Mark Gordon proudly unveiled the project last summer during a celebratory press conference featuring a video message from Gates himself. 

We’re absolutely ecstatic,” Mayor Bill Thek told me after Kemmerer was chosen.

The miner and his wife aren’t so sure. While they agree Kemmerer needs an economic boost of some kind, a replacement for its fading coal sector, they’re not sure whether a next-generation reactor will be the right answer. They’d rather keep burning coal.

I asked a lot of people in Kemmerer about the nuclear plant. At first, most sounded unconcerned, almost indifferent: “I don’t have much to say about it.”

But, it turned out, they usually did………………..

Maybe, another offered, the company was already starting to build the plant itself.

He hoped construction hadn’t started. There were still too many unknowns, he told me. The town wasn’t ready for nuclear; not by a long shot. He didn’t know if it would ever be.

Life after coal

Gillette, Rock Springs, Glenrock and Kemmerer — the four communities considered for TerraPower’s first nuclear reactor — are all coal towns. But in Kemmerer, the victor, founded in 1867 near the coal mine that gave the town its name, coal has always been king.

Much of the younger workforce has opted to work at the gas plant, or even at the fossil quarries, over the coal plant, in the hopes that those jobs will last even after coal is gone. And Kemmerer and Diamondville are trying to put themselves on the map — on tourists’ lucrative radar — for their fossils………………………………………

TerraPower and Rocky Mountain Power had convened roughly 40 high-profile community leaders, including elected officials, town managers, school and hospital administrators and police officers, in the Best Western conference room for a question-and-answer luncheon.

…………………   they [the community]  also know about the plant’s “aggressive” seven-year time limit — a condition of the company’s nearly $2 billion Department of Energy grant. And, as the meeting wrapped up, they wanted to know: How sure was TerraPower that the project would succeed?…..

Why us?

In the Best Western conference room, the descriptor of choice was “demonstration.” Outside of that room, at the senior center and the bowling alley and the booths at Place on Pine, the nuclear plant was “experimental.”

The people who claimed they didn’t have much to say about the project, the ones who actually had a lot to say — a lot of them didn’t feel like trailblazers. They felt more like guinea pigs.

Many were suspicious. Why, they asked, would TerraPower stick its flagship project in such a tiny, remote town? Was it because they were too desperate to protest? Too isolated for anyone to care if things went awry?…….

There will be protests,” I was told several times. No one who said it wanted to participate themselves — I didn’t meet anyone who did — but they were suresomeone would…………………………………. 

January 31, 2022 Posted by | public opinion, USA | Leave a comment

European citizens divided over nuclear energy 

European citizens divided over nuclear energy – What Greeks believe, “tie” prevails in the European public opinion for the production of energy through nuclear power plants, as recorded by the latest relevant Eurobarometer survey.

The differences, however, are large from country to country, with the weight of “NO” prevailing in the EU’s largest population, Germany, where 69% are against this form of energy.

It is also striking that in France, where about 70% of energy is produced in individual plants, the disapproval rate is quite high at 45%.

This number is particularly important if one takes into account that at this time the French government, with the personal mobilisation of President Emmanuel Macron, seeks to classify nuclear energy in “environmentally friendly” technologies.

This issue has provoked several reactions, both from some countries and from political forces, with the European Greens declaring a few days ago that they are considering appealing to the European Court of Justice against the Commission for its proposal.

Austrian Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler had hinted at something similar, with experts in European law questioning whether such an appeal could be justified.

Overall in Europe and with a sample of around 27,000 respondents the acceptance and rejection rates were exactly the same, with 46%.

3% had no opinion and 5% did not answer.

Opinions on solar (92%) and wind energy (87%) are overwhelmingly positive.

The countries with the highest percentages of negative opinion after Germany and Austria (66%) included Greece and Luxembourg.

Citizens are divided in Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal, where YES or NO does not prevail.

High levels of support were recorded where nuclear power is already being used – the Czech Republic with 79%, Bulgaria with 69%, Poland with 60%, as well as in Finland where a new nuclear reactor has recently started operating. The survey also recorded slightly higher acceptance rates among men surveyed than women.

January 10, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, public opinion | Leave a comment

The British public wants NATO to renounce the “first use” of nuclear weapons

The British public wants NATO to renounce the “first use” of nuclear weapons, Bulletin 19 Nov 21,

A recent survey of British public opinion revealed a two-thirds opposition to NATO retaining the first-use option for nuclear weapons. These responses are in direct opposition to official UK policy…………..

November 20, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The French are mainly for nuclear power, but not so keen on new nuclear stations

 The French mainly for nuclear but against new power plants. According to
the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, 53% of French
people consider that this energy has been a good thing for France, but they
are 45% to oppose the construction of new plants.

 Le Monde 10th Oct 2021

October 12, 2021 Posted by | France, public opinion | Leave a comment

Public comment period regarding Bradwell nuclear project is drawing to its end.

After nearly four years, just one month remains for members of the public
to comment on the reactor technology for the proposed nuclear power station
at Bradwell B. The China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and the French
power company EDF, through their joint venture company General Nuclear
System Limited, initiated the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process of
the proposed reactor in January 2017.

The public comment process, allowing
the public to provide feedback on the UK HPR1000 reactor technology planned
for use at Bradwell B, opened in November 2017 and is due to finish on
Friday, 17 September 2021. Since it began, a range of concerns have been
raised, including those related to climate change, safety and technical

 Maldon Nub News 16th Aug 2021

August 19, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK | Leave a comment

Men, Conservative Party supporters and Brexit-backers more likely to support use of nuclear weapons

Men, Conservative Party supporters and Brexit-backers more likely to support use of nuclear weapons,  Mirage News, University of Exeter, 13 Aug 21,

Men, Conservative Party supporters and those who wanted Britain to leave the EU, are more likely to want to retain Britain’s nuclear deterrent, a study shows.

Those who endorse superior military power worldwide as an important foreign policy goal and people who want to protect the transatlantic relationship are also more likely to be in favour of nuclear weapons, according to the research.

Those who voted ‘remain’ in the EU referendum are less likely to support keeping nuclear weapons relative to those who voted to leave the EU. Supporters of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, UKIP, the Green Party, and Plaid Cymru are less likely to support keeping nuclear weapons.

The study, published in the European Journal of International Security, was carried out by Ben Clements, from the University of Leicester, and Catarina Thomson, from the University of Exeter.

Academics used data from the new UK Security Survey to analyse attitudes towards the possession of nuclear weapons among the British public, the majority of who supported retaining nuclear weapons.

Dr Thomson said: “We have found the recurring ‘gender gap’ found on state use of conventional military force extends to Britain’s nuclear force capabilities, with men more in favour of retaining the nuclear deterrent than women.

“Political preferences have a significant role to play in affecting people’s likelihood of supporting of Britain retaining its nuclear weapons. Identifying with political parties with a clear nuclear stance is generally significant in affecting people’s views on the UK nuclear programme.

“Our data suggest that supporters of parties that do not take an anti-nuclear stance, such as the Liberal Democrats or UKIP, are less likely to support keeping nuclear weapons. Those who voted for Britain to remain in the EU are less likely to agree with the statement that the UK should keep its nuclear weapons. This provides further evidence of the potency of views on the Brexit debate for other issues in the post-referendum political landscape, concerning both domestic and external policy.”…………..

The survey was fielded by YouGov between 1– 25 April 2017 (before the official announcement of the snap general election), with a representative sample of 2,002 adults in Britain. The data was weighed by age, gender, social class, region, level of education, how respondents voted at the previous election, how respondents voted at the EU referendum, and their general level of political interest.

August 14, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK | Leave a comment

Over 1.5k people sign petition against nuclear waste storage in Lincolnshire, UK

Over 1,500 people have signed a petition to say no to plans to store
nuclear waste underground on the Lincolnshire coast. Plans emerged to
dispose of nuclear waste at a site near Mablethorpe this week, as
Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) said it was in “early discussions”
with Lincolnshire County Council about using the former ConocoPhillips Gas
Terminal in Theddlethorpe as a Geological Disposal Facility, but that no
decisions had been made.

Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill
claimed it was only 10 days ago they had a presentation from the firm, and
that it was the first time they’d had a meeting with them. He also said a
“binding” local referendum would be held and “if it’s a no,
that’s the end of it”, according to the BBC.

 Lincolnite 29th July 2021

July 31, 2021 Posted by | public opinion, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Israeli public opinion makes a US-Iran nuclear deal urgent

Israeli public opinion makes a US-Iran nuclear deal urgent, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Doreen Horschig | May 14, 2021   Israel has consistently opposed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that the Biden administration is seeking to revive. The recent diplomatic talks in Vienna have been a welcome opportunity for proponents of the deal. But when progress was reported, Israel allegedly damaged an Iranian military vessel and a few days later caused a power outage at the Iranian nuclear site in Natanz.

Israel believes Tehran never abandoned its ambition to become a nuclear-armed state and that the deal paves the path for realizing this ambition. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his administration have been trying to convince the United States that a return to the JCPOA would be a mistake unless major flaws are addressed.

There are some straightforward reasons why it might be in Israel’s interest to revive the JCPOA, including a reduction of Iran’s installed centrifuges and stockpiles of enriched uranium. But another reason for reviving the deal has received little attention: Israeli public opinion. Not because the public supports the JCPOA (they don’t), but because—as my own recent research found—the Israeli public is highly hawkish and would be supportive of a nuclear first strike against a nuclear-armed Iran.

In other words, the world cannot rely on the Israeli public to avoid atomic warfare in the Middle East. Because of this, the Biden administration needs to redouble its efforts to make sure that the United States and Iran re-enter the nuclear deal. If Iran further develops the bomb and eventually obtains it, Israel’s government has public backing for a nuclear first strike against Iran—which would be both a regional and global disaster. The Israeli public will not provide a constraint if a nuclear strike is being considered………………

Israeli public opinion. Very few recent polls have attempted to identify preferences among the Israeli population for a nuclear strike. To fill this gap, I worked with Midgam—an Israeli research and consulting firm that frequently partners with academics—last summer to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,022 Israeli adults, including both Jews and Arabs. The survey aims to understand the circumstances under which people might support a first strike with a nuclear weapon………..

My survey results confirm a large hawkish majority indeed lurks within the Israeli public. Survey respondents read a government press release presenting a scenario that included an Iranian nuclear threat—and suggesting that an Israeli nuclear strike would effectively destroy an Iranian nuclear facility. The respondents were then asked: “Given the facts described in the article, if Israel decides to strike, how much would you approve or disapprove of this decision?” The findings suggest that 60 percent of Israelis approved of a nuclear first strike on Natanz if they felt threatened by a (hypothetically) nuclear-armed Iran. Even with a reminder of likely Iranian retaliation, approval for a strike was higher (45 percent) than disapproval (38 percent).

When I dug deeper to explore why some people are so supportive of the use of an atomic bomb, my research suggested that Israelis who were reminded of their mortality (through open-ended questions about their own deaths) were significantly more likely to support nuclear use in a first strike than those who were not reminded of death. Though it may seem paradoxical, a theory of psychology called Terror Management Theory predicts just that. It suggests that, when individuals are prompted to think of their own death, they become less risk-averse and increase their support for extreme aggression toward whatever it is that challenges their worldview—a worldview that normally provides a defensive death-denying belief. And what could remind Israelis more of their death than the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran?

This all suggests that the public cannot be counted on to be a constraint on Israeli leadership. Unlike during the Cold War, when people took to the streets to protest the US-Soviet arms race and use of nuclear weapons, there is currently no visible pro-disarmament sentiment in Israel. No public opposition in Israel will put a check on an Israeli nuclear first strike.

To avoid a dire conflict, it is in Israel’s interest to support diplomatic steps. So far, the JCPOA has prevented a trajectory to a nuclear first strike more effectively than counterproliferation measures and withdrawal did. If Israel needs one more reason to sympathize with the JCPOA, here it is: Public hawkishness could be a contributing factor that spirals the country into a nuclear crisis.

……….. If Israel wants to prevent a situation in which a nuclear-armed Iran causes the Israeli citizenry to support a nuclear first strike, then it should get on board with the JCPOA. And the Israeli public’s hawkishness should give the Biden administration an increased sense of purpose and urgency.

The window of opportunity to revive the Iran nuclear deal is closing quickly………………While the deal is not perfect, it’s at least a measure that has shown effectiveness in the past. ……….

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Israel, politics international, public opinion | Leave a comment