EU nuclear regulation favored, poll finds

April 29, 2010 at 11:03 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, April 29 (UPI) -- Citizens in European nations overwhelmingly favor legislation at the EU level to manage radioactive waste, the European Commission said.

The commission, in a 168-page Eurobarometer survey, found 82 percent of Europeans said they favor legislation on radioactive waste at the EU level. Safety concerns over radioactive waste are consistent in all European countries regardless of nuclear energy technology, the poll indicated.

The survey showed that most European citizens stated concerns about improper use -- including terrorism -- of nuclear material though 59 percent said nuclear power plants could be operated safely.

"People throughout Europe share the same concerns, whether they have nuclear power plants in their country or not," said European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. "We have to take these concerns seriously and make sure that radioactive waste is disposed safely, for our people and for our environment."

Of the 27 members of the European Union, 15 have nuclear power plants "but there are only a few projects for final repositories for the most hazardous radioactive waste category," the report said.

Around 1,000 people were interviewed in each of the 27 countries in the European Union in late 2009. Margins of error range from 1.9 percentage points to 3.1 percentage points.

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