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The French more and more in favor of nuclear power

2021-10-11T16:14:54.144Z

Ten years after the Fukushima disaster, which had plagued the nuclear image, the French are positioning themselves more and more in favor of the



Hated by some, praised by others, nuclear power is already a crucial issue in the race for the presidential election of 2022. On the right and in the center, we are rather or frankly in favor.

On the left and among the Greens, we are rather or frankly against.

But what do the French think?

While awareness of the climate emergency is only increasing in public opinion, the majority of them position themselves in favor of the production of energy by nuclear power stations.

Thus, nearly six in ten French people (59%) are in favor according to an Odoxa poll for Challenges and BFMTV * carried out in March 2021. A rate certainly lower than that of 2013 (67%), but much higher than in 2018 (47%).

Alternative energies on the decline in surveys

“Structurally, the French have always viewed this energy with a good eye,” analyzes Cécile Bracq, general manager of Odoxa. Perceived, rightly or wrongly, as 100% French, it benefits from a very low accident rate in France and makes it possible to limit the cost of electricity in a period when energy prices are soaring. ". But how can this sudden turnaround be explained, even though nuclear energy has lost 20 points in public opinion between 2013 and 2018? For the pollster, the Fukushima disaster caused atomic energy to lose its popularity. Then, “François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron after him have initiated a policy of limiting the share of nuclear power in the energy mix, and this political will has had repercussions on public opinion. "

But "alternative energies have been less popular in recent years, the French, for example, being less and less attracted by wind turbines because of their impact on the countryside", indicates Cécile Bracq.

According to another Odoxa poll for Le Figaro published last September, positive opinions on wind power have worsened by 17 points in two years, going from 80% in 2019 to 63% in 2021, even though positive opinions on wind power. nuclear have doubled over the same period, 51% of respondents having a positive outlook in 2021, against 34% in 2019.

A theme that is still very polarizing

For the polling institute, this resurgence of nuclear power in public opinion could be due to the repetition of messages on the need to reduce CO2 emissions, a theme favorable to nuclear power, "cleaner" on this aspect. Thus, the French prefer “the fight against global warming” (51%) to the “development of renewable energies” (48%), a value scale that Charlotte Mijeon, communications officer within the Sortir du nuclear network, attributes to "the myth created by industrialists around nuclear energy, they want to believe that it is clean, inexpensive and sovereign".

Anyway, this theme is very polarizing and depends on the social class or the political opinions of the respondents. We thus observe, again according to Odoxa, that nuclear power is popular with men (73%), the oldest (71% among those over 65) and higher categories (62%). On the contrary, this energy production arouses more circumspection among women (54% are against it), young people (51% of 25-34 year olds) and popular categories (50%). The more left-wing or environmentalist we are and the younger we are, the more we see nuclear power as a threat (68% of environmentalists and 64% of 18-24 year olds see it that way). "Each political formation, moreover during an election period, is therefore positioned on the subject to flatter its electorate", points out Cécile Bracq.

*: Study carried out for Aviva Assurance, Challenges and BFMTV using the quota method on a sample of 1005 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over, on March 2 and 3, 2021.

**: Study carried out for Backbone Consulting and Le Figaro using the quota method on a sample of 1,005 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over, on September 28 and 29, 2021.

Source: leparis

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