Just over a third of people support nuclear power, while more than a fifth oppose the energy technology, an official survey shows.
The latest figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) show 36% of the public support nuclear reactors while 22% are against them.
Four in 10 people expressed no opinion on the technology in the latest quarterly survey, whose results were launched as French energy giant EDF is set to give the go-ahead for the first new
nuclear reactor in the UK in decades.
There was a significant drop in the numbers strongly supporting nuclear – and in those strongly opposing it – with both down from 10% three months ago to 6% in the new study.
Wealthier people, men, and those over 65 are most likely to support nuclear energy, it found.
The figures also show continuing support for renewables such as solar, wind and biomass, with more than three quarters (76%) backing their use.
The figures are down from 81% three months ago, while strong support also weakened slightly, but backing for renewables is roughly the same as it was a year ago, the figures show.
Just one in 100 people strongly oppose technologies such as wind and solar to provide electricity in the UK.
More people questioned were opposed to the controversial process of fracking for shale gas (31%) than supported it (21%), but almost half (48%) did not offer an opinion one way or another.
The poll of more than 2,000 people also found the lowest level of concern about energy bills since it began in early 2012, with just over a fifth (22%) saying they were very or fairly worried about meeting their heating and electricity costs.