The French are growing support to nuclear energy

In an Ifop poll revealed by the Journal du dimanche, three-quarters of the French people questioned said they were in favor of nuclear power. A relatively positive opinion for the atom that we can also observe among supporters of political parties traditionally opposed.

75% of French people say they are in favor of nuclear power, according to the latest Ifop poll conducted for the JDD. According to Frédéric Dabi, the institute’s Director General of Opinion, this unprecedented score underlines a “refusal of the German-style scenario that abandoned nuclear energy production. As a reminder, our neighbors across the Rhine have chosen to shut down their nuclear power plants and massively revive their coal-fired power plants, which emit large amounts of CO2.

This favorable opinion of the French can be explained above all by the increase in energy prices. Nuclear power appears to be a safe energy source. Indeed, nearly 81% of those surveyed consider it essential for the country’s energy independence. This view seems to be shared across the political spectrum: 79% of French people close to the France Insoumise party and 72% of French people close to Europe Ecologie les Verts agree with this statement.

A difference between the ages

Beyond political consensus, this return to favor of nuclear power affects all age groups since 64% of 18-24-year-olds are in favor of nuclear energy, while 84% of those 65 and older support the atom. This 20-point difference could be explained by a lack of knowledge about nuclear energy. Even though nuclear energy is low-carbon, nearly 64% of 18-24-year-olds consider that nuclear energy is not environmentally friendly, compared to only 30% of those 65 and older.

Finally, more than 65% of French people are in favor of reviving nuclear power. This result, up 14 points compared to 2021, will undoubtedly weigh the public debate and the upcoming energy programming law. ■

Published on 27 September 2022

Par Thomas Jaquemet (Sfen)

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