Renewed popularity for nuclear power

nuclearYears of stout opposition towards nuclear energy is fading, as global warming causes increased acceptance.

In Denmark, there has been a dramatic shift in the past two years in public opinion on nuclear power, as the energy source becomes increasingly considered as a tool to mitigate climate change, reports Copenhagen Post.

A recent Gallup survey in that country found the majority of Danes support nuclear power as a means of reducing CO2 emissions. In 2007, a similar survey revealed just a quarter of respondents favoured energy produced by nuclear power plants. The latest results show that 54 percent now favour the move.

“Concern about the climate has risen so markedly that it has overtaken opposition to nuclear power plants,” said senior researcher Lars Kjerulf Petersen from Aarhus University.

Other European countries including Finland, Poland, the UK and the Baltic nations are undertaking the planning and building of new nuclear energy plants in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Denmark has been urged to ally itself with Germany and Sweden in plant construction by energy advocate organisation Reel Enerji Oplysning chief Bertel Lohmann Andersen, who also encouraged greater political debate on the issue.

Opponents, however, remain adamant. “The nuclear waste problem hasn’t been solved. The risk of reactor accidents and the danger of material used in atomic weapons spreading remains,” claimed Tarjei Haaland of Greenpeace. The Danish government has also dismissed any new moves towards nuclear energy. “We’re not opposed to nuclear power per se, but it doesn’t fit the Danish long-term energy strategy,” said energy spokesman Lars Christian Lilleholt.

Lilleholt argued that Denmark already has an energy policy that concentrates on combining the country’s 665 heat and power stations with a high proportion of renewable energy.

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