Majority of Germans Consider Early Termination of Nuclear Power Generation to Be Unrealistic

Berlin, 27.01.2000

62 percent of the whole population of Germany consider that the early termination of nuclear power generation is not realistic, and is convinced that Germany will continue to be dependent on nuclear power for many years to come. This is shown by a representative survey carried out at the end of last year by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopics and presented today by the German Atom Forum. "Accordingly, the majority is arguing in favour of allowing plenty of time to make precise plans for the termination, although 24 percent want the quickest possible termination," as Ms Renate Köcher explains. She is the managing director of the Allensbach Institute.

Only 30 percent of the population are in favour of termination. On the other hand, 38 percent said they wanted the existing reactors to continue in operation, and another 25 percent wanted the older reactors to be replaced by modern nuclear power plants. 3 percent thought that nuclear energy should be increased. The general public regards the main sources for energy production in the coming decades to be sun, wind and water, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power. "People are expecting the greatest contribution to energy supply," says Ms Kocher, "to come from the regenerative sources and from natural gas and nuclear energy.? 50 percent are assuming that solar energy will make the greatest contribution to securing power supplies in the next decades; 40 percent are placing their hopes in hydro-electric power, and 38 percent in nuclear energy.

"Even if nuclear energy is terminated, a relative majority of the population is in favour of continuing with research into nuclear technology in Germany," Renate Köcher emphasised. For instance, 43 percent hold the view that German knowledge can contribute to increasing the safety of nuclear power plants in other countries, although 37 percent think that only those countries that intend to go on using nuclear energy should be engaged in research in this sector. Germany is now regarded as the world leader in reactor safety. 72 percent of people rate Germany as the country with the safest nuclear power plants. "In the view of the general public, it is followed at a great distance by the USA, France, Sweden, and Great Britain," the lady from Allensbach explained. The reactors that Germans are most worried about are those in Russia and the Ukraine.


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