Swedes oppose turning off nuclear power early

A majority of Swedes want their nuclear power stations to produce energy until their operational lifespan ends, and not be shut down early, a poll published on Tuesday showed.

Sweden shut its Barsebäck 2 reactor on June 1st, the second reactor to be taken out of service in the country since 1999 as part of a plan to phase out nuclear power over the next 30 or so years.

The poll, conducted by Temo on behalf of the Swedish nuclear industry’s research and training centre KSU, found that 65 percent of those questioned did not agree with the decision to shut down reactors while they could still produce energy.

Some 26 percent of those polled said, however, that stations should be shut down in coming years, whether they are still operational or not.

Asked about their opinion on the future of nuclear power, 20 percent said it should be wound up altogether.

38 percent said nuclear power should be used until currently functioning stations stop producing, 24 percent said they wanted new stations to be built to maintain current nuclear power production levels, while 15 percent said they wanted more nuclear power in the future than now.

Nuclear power currently accounts for nearly half of the energy supply in Sweden, which has vowed to break its dependence on oil by 2020.

Temo questioned 2,000 Swedes over 18 years old over a period of two weeks in November.

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