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Ecologists explain rising confidence of Russians in atomic energy by industry’s achievements

March 10, 2012, 13:18 UTC+3

There were only 52 percent of supporters of nuclear energy and 39 percent of opponents right after the Fukushima disaster

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MOSCOW, March 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russians again feel rising confidence in the nuclear industry, which is attributed to it evident progress over the past few years.

This opinion was expressed in an interview with Itar-Tass by chairman of the supreme council of the All-Russian non-governmental environmental organization “Plantain” Yuri Raptanov, commenting on the results of a social study on nuclear power plants.

The Levada Centre carried out a poll in February, showing that Russians have overcome the so-called “post- fukushima syndrome” after the disaster at the Japanese nuclear plant last year. For instance 66 percent of Russians now favour the development of nuclear energy in the country; 15 percent believe that it should be dwindled down and only seven percent are deadly against the use of energy of peaceful atom.

There were only 52 percent of supporters of nuclear energy and 39 percent of opponents right after the Fukushima disaster. A year before the disaster, the total number of advocates of nuclear energy totaled 73 percent and opponents – 14 percent.

“The rise of confidence in the nuclear industry is attributed to the fact that it noticeably improved in all respects – in security, economy, environment and loyal attitude to public opinion,” Raptanov reckons.

He called attention at the same time that even “resettlement of the village of Muslyumovo turned to be underestimated”: the village was in the contaminated zone after the breakdown at the Mayak Combine in Chelyabinsk Region in 1957. “The Rosatom State Corporation shouldered the historic responsibility for the disaster that was made by another generation of nuclear specialists.

Rosatom displayed the best example of continuity from the viewpoint of responsibility and care for the population. This promotes better than any advertising that people start treating more seriously, attentively and with greater confidence the nuclear industry and nuclear energy,” the environmentalist said with confidence.

In Raptanov’s opinion, “the fukushima syndrome” was “not so strong and not everywhere” in Russia. It turned to be more acute in regions, close to Japan – the Far East and the Primorye Territory. “I don’t believe that it was a serious and in-depth process with growing real fears and panic.

Opponents of nuclear energy clearly worked with foam at the mouth: they used the topic of radiophobia at many elections during the year. “The fukushima syndrome” was bloated out and maintained artificially, having no ground underfoot,” Raptanov noted.

He underlined that “people rated for themselves with time threats, risks as well as problems, and sober mind overwhelmed”. The environmentalist noted that a considerable part of population live next to nuclear power stations in Russia. “It is not difficult now, in the age of Internet to get any information. The Rosatom site can show radiation background in the area of any nuclear station,” he added.

This information wipes out any radiophobia among population.


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