March 22, 2011 / 6:19 PM / in 7 years

UK public support for nuclear wanes on Japan crisis

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - More people still support UK plans to build nuclear power plants than oppose them, according to a survey by GfK NOP, but support is waning with 37 percent more likely to oppose plans after Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Thirty five percent of respondents in a survey of 1,003 adults -- conducted from March 18-20 for Friends of the Earth to measure the British public’s reaction to Japan’s nuclear safety scare -- said they were still in favour of plans to replace Britain’s ageing reactors. Some 28 percent said they opposed building new nuclear plants.

More than a third said they were more likely to oppose Britain’s nuclear plans after a huge tsunami seriously damaged Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, sparking the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, but 16 percent said they were more likely to support new nuclear than they were before the March 11 quake.

Despite more people still being in favour of building new nuclear plants than opposing Britain’s multi-billion pound atomic energy programme, nearly half of those surveyed said most UK energy investment over the next decade should be in solar, wind and wave power technologies.

Only 9 percent told the GkK NOP survey most money should be spent on nuclear plants, and 44 percent said they were generally worried about the safety of Britain’s nuclear power plants, while 25 percent said they were not. (Reporting by Daniel Fineren)

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