Final Disposal of Central Importance for Acceptance of Nuclear Energy

Berlin, 25.02.2009

According to a representative survey carried out by TNS Emnid, the institute for opinion polls, on behalf of the German Atomic Forum, 48 percent of Germans are in favour of extending the remaining running times of nuclear power plants. This is a clear majority over the 42 percent of those questioned who reject such an extension. The German Atomic Forum stresses that yet again these survey results are evidence of Germany`s isolated position in a global comparison. If industrialised countries such as Sweden and Italy are acknowledging the increasing importance of nuclear energy for climate protection and security of supply and can revise decisions in favour of phasing out nuclear power, then Germany, as Europe`s greatest economic power, should also face up to realities.

The current opinion poll shows that the political solution to the final disposal of high active waste is of central importance for the acceptance of nuclear energy in Germany. If the question of safe final disposal were solved then as many as 61 percent of Germans would be in favour of the continued use of nuclear energy. This is an increase of 3 percentage points compared to a survey carried out by TNS Emnid in August 2008. By comparison, the proportion of Germans who were against nuclear energy even with safe final disposal dropped from 36 percent to 35 percent.

For the German Atomic Forum, this clear position within the population highlights how important and necessary it is for an immediate lifting of the moratorium on exploration of the Gorleben salt dome. Only when exploration is complete will it be possible to make a decision regarding its suitability as a site for the final disposal of high active waste.

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