Europeans and Nuclear Safety

The European Commission has published a Eurobarometer survey showing that an overwhelming majority of Europeans would find it useful to have European legislation on radioactive waste management.

This special Eurobarometer survey on nuclear safety reveals:

European public opinion accepts the value of nuclear energy to some extent, primarily as a mean of decreasing energy dependence, but continues to consider that the current share of nuclear energy in the energy mix should be maintained or reduced.

Opposition to further nuclear development is mostly related to risk perception of nuclear energy: a majority still perceive nuclear energy more as a threat than as a neutral source of energy both from a general and personal perspective.

Although most interviewees believe that the risks related to nuclear energy are underestimated. Their risk perceptions, measured through a diverse range of potential situations, have remained stable since 2006. Lack of security to protect NPPs against terrorist attacks and the disposal and management of radioactive waste remain the major dangers associated with nuclear energy.

European citizens are extremely conscious of the importance of safety and protection, as far as nuclear energy is concerned but most feel ill-informed about nuclear safety issues related to nuclear power plants.

Knowledge and information are crucial in determining attitudes. While Europeans mainly obtain information about nuclear issues from the mass media, they consider this information to be insufficient. Not surprisingly, citizens would like to know more about radioactive waste management and environmental monitoring procedures.

A large majority of Europeans believe it would be useful to have European legislation regulating nuclear waste management within the European Union and their national territory.

You can read the Europeans & Nuclear Safety report here.