Survey: 73 percent of Lithuanian residents believe that it is possible to operate nuclear power plants in a safe manner
73 percent of Lithuanian residents are positive that it is possible to operate nuclear power plants in a safe manner; in 2006 this statement was affirmed by 69 percent of residents.
The joint Lithuanian – British market research and public opinion survey company Baltijos tyrimai (Baltic Surveys) under request of Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate conducted a representative survey of Lithuanian residents in October-November 2009 and questioned over a thousand inhabitants of the country whose age ranged between 15-74.
More than a half of Lithuanian residents agree with a statement that storage (56 percent) and transportation (59 percent) of radioactive waste can be done safely. Should the radioactive waste storage facility be constructed, residents would be concerned about the impact on their health and the environment (37 percent) and the release of radioactive waste from the storage facility into the environment (36 percent). Lithuanians are less concerned about the possible deterioration in the attractiveness of the district for business development (3 percent) and countable huge costs for construction and operation of the radioactive waste storage facilities (1 percent).
As compared with 43 percent of respondents who in 2006 agreed with the statement that the legal framework of Lithuania adequately assures nuclear safety, in this survey this number is as high as 52 percent. 50 percent of residents tend to think that the nuclear safety authority sufficiently regulates the safe operation of nuclear installations. In 2006 such opinion was expressed by 47 percent of the respondents.
However, 66 percent of respondents feel insufficiently informed about nuclear safety issues in Lithuania (in 2006 there were 82 percent), 25 percent feel sufficiently informed about these issues. Lithuanian residents pointed out that they need brief and understandable information about the methods of storage of radioactive waste, where and how those facilities will be constructed, what is the current impact of Ignalina NPP on their health and what impact could be expected in the foreseeable future.
Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) Acting Head Michail Demčenko says the public opinion and understanding of nuclear power facilities safety aspects are very important, so we should work purposefully to make information about regulatory activities more accessible and understandable to the general public.
50 percent of respondents tend to think that the Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) sufficiently regulates safety of nuclear installations in Lithuania, 14 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that regulation and supervision is unsatisfactory.
The joint Lithuanian – British market research and public opinion survey company Baltijos tyrimai (Baltic Surveys) conducted a representative survey of Lithuanian residents in October-November, 2009 and questioned over a thousand inhabitants of the country whose age ranged between 15-74. The data collected during the survey were compared with the results obtained during the special survey Europeans and nuclear safety conducted in October 2006 by Eurobarometer.