According to a survey by the Allensbach Institute (IfD Allensbach), a significant majority of the population supports research in the field of nuclear energy in Germany. Confidence has also increased in the existing safety precautions with regard to operation of the nuclear power plants.
Despite the shutdown of nuclear power plants in Germany, 54 percent of respondents are in favour of continuing research in the field of nuclear energy so that Germany can have a say in international safety standards in the future. Only 32 percent also advocate terminating nuclear energy research as a consequence of shutting down the nuclear power plants.
Dr. Ralf Güldner, President of the German Atomic Forum, has this to say, “A distinct majority in favour of continuing nuclear energy research in Germany is a clear signal to politicians to create the conditions for unrestricted, broad and continuous research and to secure these conditions in the long term respectively. The population’s support also sends an important message for the essential work of researchers and lecturers in Germany as a site of nuclear knowledge.
In addition, 57 percent are in favour of using nuclear technology in other fields outside power generation, such as in medical or materials research, with only 24 percent against this.
There has been a significant increase in confidence when estimating the safety of Germany’s nuclear power plants. In 2011, due to the impact of the Fukushima accident, only 21 percent of respondents believed that the safety precautions in German nuclear power plants were adequate, 58 percent of respondents answered in the negative. Now a 41 percent majority is convinced that the safety precautions are adequate and only 30 percent still gave a negative answer.
Güldner also says, “Despite the fact that there was no specific applicability to German plants, the accident in Fukushima was a crucial event for the population’s confidence in the safety of our nuclear power plants. It has been possible, thanks to the continuing skilled and dedicated work of those involved, together with our high safety standards, to win back this confidence.”
The results of the survey (German) can be downloaded at kernenergie.de.