07 June 2011

French want to abandon nuclear

June 06, 2011
MORE than three quarters of French people believe the country should follow Germany and withdraw from nuclear energy, a new survey has found.

The Ifop poll of 1,005 adults commissioned by the Journal du Dimanche found 77% supported a gradual shut-down of France's nuclear power plants within 30 years. A fifth of those in favour said it should happen sooner.

Germany announced last month that it would shut down its nuclear plants by 2022 following safety concerns as a result of the Japanese earthquake and the Fukushima radiation leak.

Nuclear represents only 22% of German electricity production, whereas France has 58 reactors that produce 73% of the country's electricity supply, making it the world's second-biggest nuclear power behind the United States.

Green party Europe Ecologie-Les Verts is campaigning for a complete withdrawal and wants the Socialists to do the same before it considers a potential partnership in next year's elections.

Socialist presidential candidate Fran├žois Hollande has instead suggested cutting France's dependence on nuclear by half, while the French government insists it will not change its direction. 

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