In the span of less than a month, after watching disaster unfold in Japan, Americans have started to turn their backs on nuclear power.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national survey finds a near three-year low among Americans who want to build more nuclear power plants: 38 percent.

At the same time …

… 42 percent oppose building new plants.

Bummer for President Obama, who had proposed billions to start to build dozens of new plants proposed in the United States.

Is America in hot water with nuclear power?

Is America in hot water with nuclear power?

So much for that.

Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan was hit with an earthquake and tsunami that knocked out is electricity and backup power, leading, so far, to a near melt-down as cooling systems have failed.

Whether such a double whammy could happen here is doubtful. But remember SoCal's own San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is in earthquake country and right on the beach.

And Fukushima's reactors are based on an American design.

About 35 percent of you have gone full-on Simpsons on the issue and think nuclear power should be phased out; 47 percent disagree with that.

Before Fukushima, nuclear power seemed to be enjoying a renaissance. When it's not melting down or spewing radioactive clouds, it's considered clean power, with no green house gases to put a hole in our ozone layer, no use of limited fossil fuels, and no dependence on foreign oil.

We're already a nuclear nation, somewhat. And only about one in four of you recognized that one-fifth of our power comes from reactors.

LA Weekly