Voters back nuclear energy agreement: poll

Seven out of ten voters back an agreement to reverse a decision to phase out the country's 10 nuclear reactors, announced by the four parties of Sweden's centre-right governing Alliance on Thursday.

The new survey, conducted by Novus Opinion on behalf of the energy lobbying group “Nätverket för framtidens energi”, which propagates “for all forms of electricity production that can contribute to Sweden cutting its carbon emissions”, appeared to give resounding support for the government’s vision.

“I believe that our agreement represents a lot of what the Swedish people think. They want to have nuclear power, but it should be safe, and want renewables at the same time,” Centre party leader Maud Olofsson said.

“Even if nuclear power is not my current favourite energy source I have to respect that there are people that think so and that they want to have modern technology.”

She is not surprised over the strong support for nuclear power as it usually increases as time passes after an accident.

One question in the survey asked: “The government has now announced an agreement on energy policy which means that ambitions for wind power expansion trebles from 10 to 30 terawatt hours and that it should be possible to replace existing nuclear reactors with modern ones. What is your general attitude towards this agreement?”

25 percent replied “very good”, 45 percent replied “good” and 12 percent replied “bad” or “very bad”.

A further question asked whether it should be possible to replace existing nuclear reactors at their current locations.

57 percent of respondents backed the possibility while 28 percent were against and 15 did not know.

Novus Opinion underlined that the results of the survey should however be read with caution as the survey was conducted over such a short period of time.

“Nätverket för framtidens energi” is backed by several union groups, including the metalworkers union (IF Metall) and Seko, as well as several employers groups. The group works towards cross-party energy policy agreement and for the development of nuclear power instead of its phasing-out.

Novus Opinion interviewed 1,000 people over the age of 18.