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Nuclear opposition grows in Sweden

Published lördag 28 april 2012 kl 13.30
Oscarshamn nuclear power station in south east Sweden. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/Scanpix

Since Japan’s nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, just over a year ago, Swedes have become more negative about nuclear energy, according to a new survey from the SOM polling Institute at Gothenburg University.

The survey found that 44 percent want nuclear power to be phased out as soon as possible or when the current reactors reach the end of their term in use. Just over a third of respondents (35 percent) agree with building new reactors.

In the wake of the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in the US in 1979, Swedes voted in a referendum to stop building nuclear power stations and to phase-out existing plants by 2010.

However the policy was never fully implemented.

In 2009 the government reversed the phase-out policy and announced that Sweden’s existing ten reactors would be replaced. Professor Sören Holmberg who conducted the survey said that public opinion had previously supported building new reactors but that appears to have changed.

The survey had 1,500 respondents and took place in late autumn 2011. The full results will be published in June 2012.

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