Public support for the construction of Poland’s first nuclear power plant has soared to 64%, but an independent Polish think-tank warns that public debate must be refocused away from current concerns about international political crises if that support is to be long lived.
The Polish Institute of International Affairs’ (PISM’s) findings are based on quantitative research it carried out earlier this year, based on data gathered through face-to-face interviews with a random, representative sample of 1000 Polish citizens. Of the 64% supporting Polish plans for a nuclear power plant, 57% cited its potential for providing increased energy independence for the country as a reason for their support. Economic benefits were less frequently cited: 42% of pro-build respondents cited employment opportunities, while 26% and 24% respectively cited technological progress or the involvement of Polish companies in the project.
The level of support registered by PISM’s study is significantly higher than that seen in previous polls conducted by Poland’s independent Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS). The maximum level of support previously recorded was 50% in 2009, according to a CBOS report published in 2013, and a study carried out by the organisation in March of that year found just over half of the Polish population – 52% – was opposed to the construction of nuclear power plants in the country.
The study found that the most prominent group among those supporting the construction of a nuclear plant was young, highly-educated individuals with higher incomes living in the largest cities. The study also found a clear regional pattern, with the highest support for nuclear coming from those in the east of the country.
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