Nuclear Power still Very Important for Germany`s Industry

Berlin, 27.11.2001

The topic of nuclear power has been the cause of a controversial public debate for years. In August this year, pollsters from the Allensbach Institute carried out an opinion poll for the German Atomic Forum to fathom "the attitude of Germans towards nuclear power after the signing of the Agreement."

The results showed that the majority of German citizens believe that nuclear power will continue to be very important for Germany`s industry in future. The Agreement on Nuclear Power, which after all 81% of those questioned said they had heard of, appears to have done little to change this view. Only 22% expect the contribution of this energy source to decline strongly within the next 20 years. One possible reason for this is that a large part of the German population thinks that the agreement that was struck is reversible and can be revised in future by a different Federal Government.

The population does not follow the illusion either that the planned German phase-out will catch on abroad. Two thirds of the population think that other countries will not abandon nuclear power in future but will further expand using this energy source if necessary. At the same time, 61% - and even more than half of the opponents of nuclear power - believe that German nuclear power plants are safer than the reactors abroad.

As regards the current issue of finding a repository for radioactive waste, the German citizens are quite clear about what they want from the political leaders. Irrespective of their attitude towards nuclear power, 68% of those questioned think that establishing such a repository is particularly important. Advocates and opponents of nuclear power alike demand in unison that the question of final disposal, which is the responsibility of the Federal Government, has to be resolved quickly.

The quintessence of this poll is that the population has very realistic views of a future-oriented energy policy and in this respect of the role of nuclear power in Germany. The poll confirms the view of the German Atomic Forum that nuclear power will continue to be an important part of Germany`s energy mix as a competitive, environmentally friendly and safe source of energy for many years to come.

DEUTSCHES ATOMFORUM E.V.

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