People happier to live near wind farms than nuclear power stations. Researchers find out the obvious?

Torness nuclear power plant

(c) powerengineeringint.com

Well, actually, I was surprised by the results.

A YouGov poll of 1660 adults with data collected between 12th and 13th September has found that most people would happily live within 5 miles of a wind farm or community wind turbine but that they would be unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site or a nuclear plant. The survey was carried out for climate change organisation 10:10. Here are the figures

Unhappy to live within 5 miles of a nuclear plant                              62%

Unhappy to live within 5 miles of a fracking site                                61%

Happy to live within 5 miles of a wind farm                                       65%

Happy to live within 5 miles of a community wind turbine scheme   69%

I’m surprised that so many would be happy to live near a fracking or nuclear site and even a bit surprised they’d be happy to live near a wind farm. I’d have thought reports of clusters of cancer near nuclear plants would have scared more than 62%. See, for example:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2001/apr/29/nuclearpower.cancercare

In the Scottish context, there have been repeated reports of hazardous leaks at Torness and at Hunterston B. See, for example:

http://www.robedwards.com/2009/09/revealed-radioactive-waste-leak-from-hunterston.html

http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/13564351.Concern_after_radioactive__incident__at_Torness/

Are the reports coming from the USA about fracking health risks not making it onto mainstream media because, again, I’d have expected a much higher percentage to be worried about living near one. See, for example:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21120-how-fracking-caused-earthquakes-in-the-uk/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-alt/how-10-years-of-fracking_b_9806768.html

I’m even a bit surprised by the large number happy to live near wind farms given the many reports of noise problems and associated health complaints. See, for example:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/7377641/Noise-complaints-about-one-in-six-wind-farms.html

The survey also compared the responses of Conservative and Labour supporters. Perhaps predictably, the Conservatives said they were less worried about living near a nuclear plant (55% to 69%) or a fracking site (55% to 71%). Now I’m surprised by these data. I took for granted that Tory voters expect nuclear plants and fracking sites to be located near the poor and nowhere near their leafy suburbs. I remember the fuss in my local area when the local authority planned to locate cesspit tanks near a relatively affluent (not effluent) part of town and after local protest moved it to a more deprived area. I couldn’t find media reports on it but found this kind of comparable example from the USA:

https://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/08/13/17759/they-figured-our-neighborhood-black-so-theyll-do-it

https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/150902/new-poll-finds-public-wary-nuclear-fracking-sites/

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6 thoughts on “People happier to live near wind farms than nuclear power stations. Researchers find out the obvious?

  1. Bugger (the Panda) September 20, 2017 / 8:03 am

    John, why don’t you post a link to your articles on Twitter and Facebook, yourself?

    Everybody else does

    Like

    • macgilleleabhar September 20, 2017 / 8:55 am

      Good morning dudes.
      I am pleased that Facebook has been mentioned as it gives me an excuse to go slightly off topic. There is a mention on Facebook about Geothermal heating being used for district heating for housing on the former Johnny Walker bottling plant site in Kilmarnock backed by £1.8 million from the SNP government.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 September 20, 2017 / 4:05 pm

        I saw that. Thought about doing a piece on it then forgot.

        Like

  2. Ludo Thierry September 20, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Hi John and others. Was interested in Mac’s info re. the geothermal district heating project in Kilmarnock (backed with significant hard cash from the SNP Scottish Govt). My impression is that this has had precious little coverage (I’ve only noticed it mentioned on this site twice and nowhere else).

    Another bit of smart sustainable energy production and usage reported yesterday by Scottish Water (that’s the same Scottish Water which remains in Scottish public ownership and which has a long history of clever sustainable energy projects under its belt). See below:

    As Climate Week 2017 gets underway, Scottish Water is announcing the completion of the utility’s largest solar panel scheme to date in the heart of Scotch whisky country.

    Scottish Water Horizons, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scottish Water, is driving forward the organisation’s green agenda having recently installed a total of 4800 photovoltaic (PV) panels at two adjacent borehole sites in Speyside.

    As well as being Scottish Water’s largest to date, the PV scheme is also the biggest investment so far by Scottish Water Horizons in this renewable technology.

    The £1.2 million installation, which was carried out by contractor Absolute Solar and Wind, will see both sites generating a total of 1GWh of energy per annum, whilst saving 437 CO2eq tonnes of carbon every year.

    The installation will also offset over one fifth of the borehole sites’ electrical needs annually.

    The PV panels, which were installed on Scottish Water land, will help provide power to pump water to the Badentinan water treatment works nearby.

    In addition to helping Scottish Water meet renewable energy targets and protect the environment, savings from the new installation will be passed on to customers to help keep bills down going forward.

    Will no-one save Scotland from all this SNP baaad, sustainable energy producing, customer bill reducing innovation???

    Cheers, ludo

    Liked by 1 person

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