Support for nuclear power is growing in the Netherlands, with 36% of adults now saying they would like to see more use made of the controversial process. In 2020, just a quarter of the population backed nuclear energy.
Older people and people with university and college degrees, in particular, are more likely to support an expansion of the Dutch nuclear programme, and men are twice as likely as women to do so, the CBS survey showed.
The Netherlands currently has one nuclear power station, at Borssele in Zeeland, but the outgoing government had agreed to look into building three more. Zeeland is also the most pro-nuclear of all the provinces, with 40% saying they would like to see an increase.
Support for solar and wind power has gone down slightly over the same period but remains stable for other forms of generating power. Coal use should be reduced or phased out according to 76% of those polled, while 61% would like to see less or no oil used as a source of power and 57% a cut or phase out of natural gas.
The survey also shows that 76% of the over 18s are worried about the impact of climate change on future generations, with flooding and dry summers the biggest fear. At the same time, 58% are concerned about the cost of the government’s programme to reduce the impact of climate change.
Women are more likely than men to worry about climate change as are the over-75s. Some 44% think the outgoing government’s strategy should go further, while 23% think the government is doing too much.
Climate change is likely to be a key issue in the pending cabinet formation talks. If the Netherlands is to have a right-wing cabinet, support for more nuclear power is assured. But the far right PVV, which won 25% of the vote, is opposed to wind and solar power and thinks gas and oil-fired power stations should remain open.
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