Nuclear winds of change

Over half of the UK's population believe that nuclear power is needed as part of a balanced energy source for the UK.

Over half of the UK's population, or 59 percent, believe that nuclear power is needed as part of a balanced energy source for the UK, up 5 per cent from last year.

This is one of the main findings of a new opinion poll by YouGov commissioned by EDF Energy as part of its contribution to the current debate on the country's future climate change and energy policy. The survey of 4,028 adults was conducted through interviews between 29 and 31 October.

Among the other major findings: a huge majority recognise the nature and scale of the UK energy challenge. 82 per cent are interested in where Britain's electricity will come from in future, while 90 per cent believe Britain should aim to be self sufficient in energy.

On climate change, while a big majority - 67 per cent - accept the need to address this issue, fewer believe it needs to be addressed urgently compared to a year ago (38 per cent in 2007 versus 51 per cent in 2006).

Wind power remains the favourite choice of British people to fill the energy gap in the future with 76 per cent supporting that option.

However, support for nuclear has grown to such an extent that more people now favour it than oppose it - 38 per cent versus 34 per cent. It is the first time that support for nuclear power has been so great since the poll began three years ago.

On planning regulations, 43 per cent say that planning regulations to build new nuclear stations on the site of old ones should be eased, while 26 per cent disagreed.