Bulgarians Mostly 'Ignorant' about Nuclear Issues - Poll
After it was first started in the 1980s, the construction of Bulgaria's second NPP at Belene was stopped in the early 1990s over lack of money and environmental protests. File photo
Only 7% of Bulgarians say they feel informed about nuclear energy issues, according to newly-released poll of the National Center for Study of Public Opinion (NZIOM).
The poll has been conducted between November 1 and 7, 2012, among 1 000 Bulgarians.
38% say they have "average" information about nuclear power, and sometimes they read about the issues. These are mainly people with college degrees and higher income.
36% respond they have insufficient information – mainly people ages 29 and under, and people with low education and income.
19% assess their information on the issue as "zero". They are the poorest, people from small villages and from Roma minority.
Nevertheless, 62.5% respond they will vote "yes" in the upcoming referendum for the future advancement of nuclear energy. 37.5% are against.
In April 2012, when the question included the words "project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene" these percentages have been 57% and 43%, respectively.
NZIOM experts stress they are monitoring closely public opinion on the subject.
Among those who see themselves as informed, supporters of nuclear energy prevail. The difference in opinions is the highest among those who have "average" information and the lowest among the uninformed.
Bulgaria's center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, government scrapped the Belene project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible. The pro-Belene Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project. The referendum will take place on January 27, 2013.
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