A majority of Finns remain positive about nuclear power generation activities in the country

The public’s trust in the continued use of nuclear energy in Finland has recovered, compared to a dip in support following last year’s accident at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, according to a new opinion poll.

Published on 10 December 2012, the poll* indicates that a majority of Finns remain positive about nuclear power generation activities in the country.

Some 34 percent of respondents said the use of nuclear power in Finland should be increased (compared to 29 percent in 2011), 24 percent said nuclear should remain at its current level (25 percent in 2011). The number of those polled who thought the use of nuclear in the country should be reduced was down to 35 percent (compared to 42 percent in 2011).

The poll also indicated support for expanding the country’s wider energy mix, with respondents saying the use of solar, wind and biomass should be increased.

Asked whether nuclear was an energy source that would continue to be used in Finland for the foreseeable future, 21 percent “completely agreed” (compared to 19 percent in 2011), 35 percent “somewhat agreed” (29 percent previously). Fifteen percent “somewhat disagreed” (19 percent previously), while those who “completely disagreed” fell by one percent in 2011 to 13 percent.

Eighteen percent of respondents completely agreed that it would be “very difficult” for Finland to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets without the use of nuclear power (compared to 11 percent in 2011). Twenty-five percent somewhat agreed (18 percent previously). Twenty-six percent said they “did not know”, compared to 40 percent in 2011.

Finland has four commercially operational nuclear reactor units at two plants – two in Loviisa and two in Olkiluoto. The country’s fifth unit is under construction at Olkiluoto.

*The poll (‘Finnish Energy Attitudes Survey 2012) was conducted by Finland’s IRO Research Energy Industry Association in October 2012.

(Source: “Nuclear 24”)

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