Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Webster, S. & Taylor, D.M.
Description: In the autumn of 1998, the European Commission conducted a public opinion survey on radioactive waste. Roughly 16,000 people across the European Union (EU) were questioned in face to face interviews. A similar survey was carried out three years later in October and November of 2001, though this time questions of a broader nature concerning nuclear issues in general were also introduced. A comparison of the results of the two surveys shows that in the intervening period there have been very few significant changes in opinion. In particular, the events of 11 September 2001 appear to have had no measurable impact on people's views. The results of the surveys have been analyzed and the key findings extracted and, where possible, interpreted. Though some of these findings might perhaps have been expected, others are somewhat surprising or even worrying, especially for the nuclear sector. However, people still seem prepared to accept that nuclear power should remain an option for electricity production in the EU, but the policy makers and the nuclear industry must demonstrate that the waste issue can be managed both safely and with respect for future generations.
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