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Half of Dutch population backs more nuclear energy
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-14 23:49:08

      BRUSSELS, Feb. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Half of the Dutch population supports an expansion of nuclear power after a government official indicated the intention to build a second nuclear power station, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Tuesday.

    According to an Internet-based poll carried out by the Maurice de Hond organization on Monday, 49 percent of the respondents were in favor of more nuclear power while 37 percent were against.

    ANP failed to say how many people gave their opinions and tell of the error margin of the poll.

    The poll was conducted after junior environment minister Pietervan Geel gave a strong indication at the weekend that the coalition government wants to end the country's traditional reluctance towards nuclear power.

    The Netherlands has one operating nuclear power station at Borssele in Zeeland Province. The government decided last year to rescind an earlier decision to close it down and the plant will remain operational until 2033.

    Van Geel said on Sunday that a second nuclear power station was a realistic option to meet the country's energy needs and commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    The opinion poll found that a massive 97 percent of respondents were in favor of more government investment in alternative energy sources, with 72 percent in support of wind turbines. Some 67 percent said they were in favor of a wind park in the North Sea.

    Dutch households are seeing a rise in energy expenses, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

    Dutch households paid an average of 7.5 percent more for gas and electricity in January than the previous month, CBS said on Monday.

    Electricity and gas prices have been climbing steadily in the Netherlands in recent years. On average, households now pay 65 percent more than in 2000 for energy. Gas bills have increased by 85 percent since 2000, while electricity prices increased by 40 percent during the same period, it said. Enditem

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