Vermont Town Halls Support Closing Nuclear Reactor, Favor RE Energy

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As predicted, based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC) for the nonpartisan and nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI), the vast majority of Vermont town halls deliberating the fate of Vermont Yankee this week came out in support of closure of the nuclear reactor by 2012. The survey also showed that residents support developing renewable energy projects instead.Â

The final tally of town halls in Vermont opposing the relicensing of Vermont Yankee was 14-1.Â

CSI's scientific survey of 802 adult Vermont residents was based on an ORC polling that took place Feb. 19-22, immediately before the Vermont Senate vote on Vermont Yankee relicensing. Â

Key survey findings reported by ORC include the following:
   – About two-thirds of Vermont residents (65%) say reports about Vermont Yankee leaking radioactive tritium into testing wells and surrounding water make them more likely to support the 2012 closure of the reactor; Â

– Given the choice, fewer than one in 10 Vermont residents (9%) would ask their power company to use nuclear energy to power their homes, compared to 71% who selected wind, solar and other clean energy technologies;

– About half of Vermont residents (49%) see nuclear power as a power source of yesterday compared to 94% for solar, 92% for wind and 78% for hydroelectric as power sources of tomorrow that should play a bigger, rather than smaller, role in the U.S. energy supply picture; and

– Sixty-eight percent of Vermont residents would support closure of Vermont Yankee in 2012, assuming that a combination of increased energy efficiency, and clean energy – such as hydroelectric, wind, solar and natural gas – could be used to offset the electricity from the reactor.

SOURCE: The Civil Society Institute

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