A survey into attitudes to nuclear power conducted annually by the SOM Institute and published by Svenska Dagbladet shows that 50 percent of Swedes want to keep atomic energy in the long term. According to the report, 33 percent of people questioned wanted to keep using the country’s ten remaining reactors or to extend their active life.
Some 17 percent of Swedes want nuclear power to be expanded in the future.
The survey represents a shift in attitudes. In 1999 a majority wanted to get rid of nuclear power. Now only one in three Swedes favours this. This puts opposition to nuclear power at its weakest since opinions on the issue were first polled.
Around a quarter, 24 percent, say they want to see nuclear power abandoned when the current reactors reach the end of their natural lifespan. Nine percent want to shut the plants at Oskarshamn, Forsmark and Ringhals as soon as possible.
Sweden decided after an inconclusive referendum in 1980 to decommission all nuclear plants by 2010, and the plant at Barsebäck in Skåne was shut down last year.
This plan is proving increasingly controversial. Concern over climate change has led to questions over how to replace nuclear power without increasing greenhouse gas emissions.