Budapest, February 3 (MTI) – Just over half of Hungarians support building new blocks at the Paks nuclear plant, but 56 percent oppose its construction by a Russian state company with a Russian loan, according to a Median survey.
The survey released on Monday was conducted after the government signed an agreement with Moscow on building two new blocks in Paks, central Hungary, in mid-January. Fully 51 percent supported the upgrade.
Meanwhile 82 percent of respondents knew about the agreement and 78 percent were very surprised or moderately surprised at it.
One concern among opponents is the expectedly high cost of the project, Median said, noting that 56 percent anticipated that “due to the high cost of the expansion the price of electricity will go up considerably.”
Only 35 percent agreed with the position that nuclear energy is a cheap source of energy, so electricity would become less expensive after the upgrade.
The survey showed that only 16 percent viewed nuclear energy as a main source of Hungary’s future energy supplies, whereas 74 percent preferred renewable energy.
The Hungarian public’s attitude has become increasingly critical since the last survey carried out in 2012, said Median, noting that the proportion of those urging a national referendum on Paks and the use of nuclear energy in general, has gone up to 59 percent from 48 percent in 2012.
Median conducted the survey in 100 localities with a 1,200-member sample from Jan. 24 to 28.