A BBC poll enquiring about the public's appetite for nuclear power has delivered some surprising results.
The poll by GlobeScan, commissioned for the BBC, asked 23,231 people in 23 countries with nuclear programs their opinions on nuclear power.
It found that most are significantly more opposed to nuclear power than they were in 2005, with just 22% agreeing that "nuclear power is relatively safe and an important source of electricity, and we should build more nuclear power plants."
In contrast, BBC reported:
71% thought their country "could almost entirely replace coal and nuclear energy within 20 years by becoming highly energy-efficient and focusing on generating energy from the sun and wind."
Globally, 39% want to continue using existing reactors without building new ones, while 30% would like to shut everything down now.
The poll is remarkable not only for the waning public appetite for nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown earlier this year, but also for the reactions of certain countries polled.
In Germany, where the government decided to phase out its nuclear program, opposition to new reactors grew from 73% in 2005 to 90% today. In France, which is 80% reliant on nuclear power, opposition rose from 66% to 83%. Surprisingly, in Japan, new reactor opposition showed a more modest rise, from 76% to 84%.
Britons and Americans both supported building new reactors — those in favour rose from 33% to 37%; in the US the number was unchanged from 2005.
Support for continuing to use existing plants while not building new ones was strongest in France and Japan (58% and 57%), while Spaniards and Germans (55% and 52%) were the keenest to shut existing plants down immediately, according to the BBC.