Nuclear power takes a tumble in Japan survey

A recent survey found that 60 percent of the Japanese population had lost confidence in the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants, and less than half think more nuclear plants should be built.

The poll from the Associated Press, GfK Group and Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications found that 80 percent of the population felt the government was not truthful about what was happening during the crisis that affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station. The same percentage questioned whether the government could help them if they became the victim of a disaster.

Not all the results were negative. Ninety percent of those polled gave the nation’s defense forces high marks. However, 75 percent disapproved of recently resigned Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) was criticized by more than 80 percent of the population.

Some 40 percent of those polled felt the number of nuclear plants should remain at its current level or be increased, while half favored reducing the number of nuclear plants. The development of new energy sources was an important objective in the coming decade for 84 percent of those polled. Reconstructing regions destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami was more important in the opinion of 96 percent of respondents.

The survey polled 1,000 people between July 29 and Aug. 10, 2011. The margin of error was 3.8 percent.

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