President Nicolas Sarkozy is still backing nuclear power, but his Socialist opponent, François Hollande, now well ahead in the polls, has proposed cutting nuclear power’s electricity contribution by more than a third by 2025. Opinion polls show support for atomic energy has dropped since Fukushima. Forty-percent of the French are “hesitant” about nuclear energy while a third are in favor and 17 percent are against, according to a survey by pollster Ifop published November 13.
On January 4, Le Monde wrote in an editorial:
“A new era is dawning. The debate over the real costs of nuclear power that had been put off for too long is once more on the table…. Attitudes are shifting. In a document published in the autumn of 2011, the French Electricity Association, which represents firms working in the sector, put out a report listing the costs of the nuclear phase-out on the one hand, but also those of continuing with nuclear energy. Because the only sensible approach is to weigh up the two scenarios – electricity costs, employment, the fight against greenhouse gases, energy dependency, alternative energies – everything is up for discussion.”