A Panelbase poll for The Times showed that nearly two-fifths of those asked supported the construction of new nuclear power stations in Scotland. This positive response to nuclear power generation comes after COP26 was held in Glasgow. The poll found that 32 percent opposed expanded nuclear power generation, just followed by 31 percent of respondents who were undecided.
When the question was posed of whether increased nuclear power sources were necessary to replace current fossil fuel sources, 57 percent agreed that this would be definitely or probably necessary.
To the same question, just over a quarter replied that it was probably not, or definitely not, necessary, with 17 percent undecided.
Scotland is currently home to two nuclear power stations, both operated by EDF energy.
Hunterston B, which has been operational since 1976 and generates power from North Ayrshire, is scheduled for closure in 2022.
Torness nuclear power plant in East Lothian will close at the end of the decade.
The Scottish Government has long maintained its opposition to new nuclear projects north of the English border, and it is within devolved power to stop any new constructions for nuclear power stations in Scotland.
Liam Kerr MSP, the Net Zero and Energy spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “Everyone recognises the need to transition to net zero but it must be done in a sensible way.
“That is why we must look at a range of energy sources to meet our future needs, rather than rule anything out as the SNP have done in relation to nuclear power.”
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This comes weeks after trade union GMB called on the Scottish Government to rethink their policy of abandoning nuclear power stations.
They compared Scotland’s future to Germany, where reliance on coal power surged after nuclear power plants were put out of action.
GMB senior representative Keir Greenaway said in a press release on the trade union’s website: “Scotland is the most dependent nation on nuclear energy across the UK – it provides us with the reliable, high output electricity baseload needed to complement the intermittence of renewables
“Bluntly there will be no net-zero without new nuclear. Phase-outs won’t work – we need only look at Germany, where nuclear decommissioning has led to a rapid increase in coal-fired production.”
He added of the current nuclear power stations in Scotland: “We need to deliver the next generation of low-carbon jobs, and policies that lead to redundancies without transition won’t be forgotten in energy communities like North Ayrshire and East Lothian.”
He urged: “Let’s learn the lessons from a decade of broken promises over the delivery of jobs in offshore wind and take people with us on the journey to net-zero by providing clean, green employment opportunities.
“It is vital that politicians reject the siren voices and the obstructive dogmas.
“If we want to meet our climate ambitions, create jobs and keep the lights on then Scotland needs new nuclear.”