Keywords: nuclear energy, environmental attitudes, sustainable development, carbon emissions, carbon management, energy industry, questionnaire, quantitative, qualitative, nuclear power, sustainability, UK, United Kingdom, CO2, carbon dioxide, market stabilisation
Environmental attitudes in the UK nuclear energy industry
The relatively low carbon footprint of nuclear energy development, when compared to fossil fuel alternatives, is widely cited as one of the main factors influencing the recent policy trend in the UK. This paper examines the shift in UK nuclear energy policy in the 21st century from a position opposed to atomic energy expansion to one in its favour, focusing on the role of carbon emissions. The results of a mixed quantitative/qualitative questionnaire survey distributed to the nuclear energy industry are presented. Most respondents identified carbon reduction as a strategic aim within their organisations but few specified a target in terms of a percentage reduction over time. Respondents were very uncertain as to whether a consumer–funded levy was preferable to carbon price support as a means of market stabilisation.