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Despite Radiation in Japan, Little Shift in Americans' Views on Nuke Power: Poll
Date:3/31/2011

k about those things very often."

Ellin Bloch, a professor at the California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra, agreed. "Psychologically, we pay attention to what's right in front of us, so if you're not in direct proximity to an event, then it seems further removed. You're not going to see it as immediately impacting you," she said.

Other factors that could be playing into a relatively muted fear response might include the fact that the health risks from radiation are not immediate, and that the American public is now overwhelmed with other world events, such as the situation in Libya and in Egypt.

"There's so much going on in the news right now that [the Japan nuclear disaster], for better or worse, may have taken a back seat," Bloch noted.

Nevertheless, spurred by the catastrophe in Japan, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has initiated a review of nuclear power plant safety in the United States. And other nations are reviewing their use of nuclear power as well. Germany, in fact, has announced that it intends to wean itself off nuclear energy altogether over the coming decades.

More information

The U.S. Department of Energy has more on nuclear energy.

SOURCES: George Bonanno, Ph.D., professor, clinical psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University and author, The Other Side of Sadness; Ellin Bloch, professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Alhambra; Humphrey Taylor, chairman, Harris Poll; Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll, March 23-25, 2011


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