Opinion poll reveals paradox

1 January 2003

An opinion poll, conducted in France for the Union Française de l'Électricité (UFE), has revealed that 86% of those questioned consider that "those who think the end of nuclear power is imminent are wrong". The survey of 1005 people was carried out by the public opinion study centre Centre d'Etudes et de connaissances sur l'opinion publique (Cecop).

The poll also revealed that 59% of those questioned thought that nuclear power was "the least expensive way to produce electricity". Approximately two-thirds of the participants in the survey considered that a phase-out of nuclear power would have negative consequences for exports of electricity (67%), economic development (62%) and France's energy independence (61%).

The survey also revealed some paradoxical and inexplicable attitudes towards nuclear power, with 61% of those questioned saying that they did not want nuclear energy to be used in the future. A similar proportion (62%) said they would be prepared to see an increase of 3-10% in their electricity bills in order to "support the abandonment of the nuclear power industry." The survey identified concerns about nuclear waste as a key factor in sapping confidence.



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