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European support for nuclear power as a solution to climate change plummetes

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Greenpeace International

On April 29, the European Commission released its Europeans and Nuclear Safety Eurobarometer report. The report attempts to measure EU citizen’s attitudes to nuclear power. It makes for very interesting reading indeed.

In the 2006 report, 62% of EU citizens people thought that nuclear power could help combat climate change. That number has plummeted to 46%. The number of people who answered ‘don’t know’ has risen in France, Spain, Finland, UK, Belgium, Luxemburg, Ireland, Estona, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Malta and Cyprus. France, UK and Finland are at the heart of the faltering nuclear ‘renaissance’.

  • In Bulgaria, Germany, France and Romania the number of people who think nuclear reactors can be run safely has fallen. The number of EU citizens that want to increase nuclear in the energy mix increased from 14% in 2006 to 17% now but ‘Europeans still do not consider nuclear energy as an option to tackle the energy supply/use challenges faced by developed societies.’
  • EU citizens ‘consider that the current share of nuclear energy in the energy mix should be maintained or reduced’. Not, you’ll notice, increase.
  • ‘Lack of security to protect NPPs against terrorist attacks and the disposal and management of radioactive waste remain the major dangers associated with nuclear energy’
  • 'Citizens would like to know more about radioactive waste management and environmental monitoring procedures.'

Bear this in mind, however. The report is produced against the background of the European Commission launching the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), in 2007. It is promoted as ‘a platform aiming to promote broad discussion, free of any taboos, on issues of transparency as well as the opportunities and risks of nuclear energy’.

So interested is the nuclear-industry dominated ENEF in ‘broad discussion’, breaking ‘taboos’ as well as discussing the ‘transparency‘, ‘opportunities’ and ‘risks’ of nuclear power that Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Sortir du Nucléaire pulled out of the body ‘accusing ENEF of stifling critical voices, ignoring their concerns and riding roughshod over alternative scientific evidence.’

(thanks to

The full report (6,6 MB) is available at: