Number of Nuclear Opponents Falls

Berlin/Bonn, 28.09.1999

The number of people in Germany who oppose nuclear power has been falling continuously for 7 years.

In 1992, 18.6 percent of the population aged 14 and upwards regarded themselves as opponents of nuclear power. Now, in 1999, this proportion is only 11.8 percent. This is the result obtained from a representative opinion survey which was carried out by the Allensbach Demoscopics Institute on behalf of the Informationskreis Kernenergie (Nuclear Energy Information Group) and presented today (Tuesday 28th September) at the "Forum in the Press House" in Bonn.

The Allensbach study shows clearly that the proportion of young people in particular who oppose nuclear power is falling. In the age-group from 14 to 29, the number of opponents in West Germany has fallen by 12 percentage points since 1990; whereas in 1990 29 percent were still against nuclear power, by 1999 this had fallen to only 17 percent. In the 30 to 44 age-group, in 1990 26 percent will still opposed to nuclear power, but only 16 percent by 1999. The proportion in the anti-nuclear movement fell by 5 percentage points in the 44 to 59 age-group (from 18 in 1990 to 13 percent in 1999), and in the population over 60 the proportion of opponents fell from 14 percent (in 1990) to 8 percent (in 1999).

The debate over the termination of nuclear energy shows that it is only the adherents to the environmentalist grouping "Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen" who are insisting on the immediate closure of nuclear power plant. The responses to the question "Should nuclear power generation be terminated as quickly as possible, or should time be taken over it, or are you totally against the termination of nuclear energy?" show that only one German citizen in four is calling for an immediate termination. The great majority of SPD [socialist] and CDU/CSU [conservative] supporters believe that termination will only be possible in the longer term.

57 percent of respondents doubt whether German termination all on its own makes any sense. 27 percent hold the opposite view, and 16 percent are undecided. The largest proportion (38 percent) of interviewees consider the Federal Government`s termination course to be senseless, another 29 percent are undecided, and 23 percent consider that it does make sense. 10 percent of those questioned gave no answer.

People`s views on the way they expect energy supplies to be secured over the next 20 to 30 years show that the following main contributions are expected: solar energy (64 percent), natural gas (62 percent), wind (56 percent) hydro-electric power (44 percent), nuclear power (42 percent), oil (42 percent), coal (26 percent) and imported electricity (25 percent).


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