- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 12, 2001

Steven Milloy likes to nail cases of “junk science,” as his Commentary column and Web address indicate (“Nuclear power, Capitol radiation,” May 8). Unfortunately, when it comes to interpreting polling data about public opinion on nuclear power, it is Mr. Milloy who is guilty of junk science.

Mr. Milloy cites an Associated Press poll as a basis for his statement that “support for nuclear power is rising.” Only 29 percent of AP´s total adult poll respondents (290 out of 1,002) said they “wouldn´t mind a nuclear plant within 10 miles of their own home.” What´s more interesting, and Mr. Milloy didn´t disclose, is that 44 percent of the AP poll´s self-stated supporters of nuclear power (228 out of 518 “supporters”) would not want to live within 10 miles of a reactor. So much for the conviction of Mr. Milloy´s nuclear power “supporters.”

With all polls, unambiguous, unbiased and straightforward questions generally are considered more reliable. In this case, such a question is, “Would you support or oppose the building of more nuclear power plants?”

This was asked by ABC News and The Washington Post of 1,350 adult respondents on the same weekend as the AP poll. The answer: Sixty percent opposes building more reactors, and 37 percent supports the concept. In June 1982, the Harris Poll asked the same question and got the exact same results.

Let´s not get resold on nuclear power hype and hysteria, we can´t pay the price. Energy efficiency and renewable resources create an energy system our parents can afford and our children can live with.


SCOTT DENMAN

Executive Director

Safe Energy Communication Council

Washington


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