Inderscience Publishers

Political support for nuclear power in Central Europe

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Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, nuclear energy has been under increased media scrutiny. The focus is mainly on Germany and the radical transformation of the position on nuclear energy in that country. To understand and potentially predict the development, however, the situation needs to be viewed from a wider Central European perspective. Polarisation of countries' attitudes towards nuclear energy is characteristic of the Central European space. In post–communist countries there is no relevant political opposition to constructing nuclear power plants, whereas all political parties in Austria, and now in Germany as well, are strictly anti–nuclear. The paper presents seven hypotheses explaining this situation. Roots are sought in the past, in the nationalisation of the issue, in endeavours to produce environmentally–friendly energy, in the imperatives of energy security, etc. Importance of nuclear energy for the respective countries' power production, and public opinion on this issue, are also briefly analysed.

Keywords: nuclear power, nuclear energy, political support, nationalisation, securitisation, public opinion, environmental policy, anti–nuclear movement, Central Europe, Fukushima nuclear accident, politics

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