Cooper Nuclear Station neighbors support plant, NPPD

November 21, 2017

Columbus, Neb. – “Favorable impression.” That’s feedback from almost 250 people living within 10 miles of Cooper Nuclear Station. The feedback was part of a research survey conducted by the firm of Bisconti Research, Inc., with Quest Global Research, to measure opinions of people living near the Nebraska Public Power District’s nuclear plant located three miles south of Brownville.

“Cooper neighbors’ support for the plant exceeds benchmarks from a simultaneous survey of residents within the 10-mile radius of all 59 U.S. nuclear power stations,” said Ann Bisconti, president of Bisconti Research, “and results are nearly the same as they were six years ago. Ninety-two percent of Cooper’s neighbors have a favorable impression of the plant and the way it has operated recently; 71 percent have a very favorable impression.”

Local respondents also like nuclear energy as a power resource.

Eighty-eight percent of CNS neighbors favor nuclear energy. Their support for the resource is grounded in high awareness of nuclear energy’s benefits in supporting jobs and the economy, while providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity. Respondents’ indicated their support for  Cooper is based on perceptions of the plant’s safe operations and their favorable view of NPPD regarding economic impact and jobs, safety, community outreach and protecting the environment.

“Many utilities are investing millions of dollars in wind farms to de-carbonize their generation portfolios,” said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. “NPPD has renewables in our mix as well, with eight wind farms, six in-state hydropower plants and three community solar projects underway; yet renewables cannot provide the consistently reliable and carbon-free electricity to the scale CNS can. Cooper has produced electricity for at least 300,000 Nebraskans more than 400 days nonstop. It’s a power resource which addresses climate change while ensuring our customers have electricity whenever they need it.”

The survey also found:

  • 94 percent are confident in NPPD’s ability to operate a nuclear power plant safely;
  • 93 percent of CNS neighbors believe nuclear energy will be important to meeting the nation’s electricity needs;
  • 93 percent said NPPD is doing a good job of protecting the environment;
  • 84 percent feel somewhat well informed about nuclear energy;
  • 72 percent believe people living near a nuclear plant are unlikely to be exposed to harmful levels of radiation; and
  • 61 percent agree used fuel is safely stored at the plant, with 80 percent believing the federal government should develop a final disposal facility which meets U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements.

This year’s results were consistent with the last Plant Neighbor Survey done in 2011 for CNS.

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