French want to abandon nuclear

France is the world's second-biggest nuclear power behind the US

77% of people support a gradual shut-down of nuclear power plants, which produce majority of France's electricity

MORE than three quarters of French people believe the country should follow Germany and withdraw from nuclear energy, a new survey has found.

The Ifop poll of 1,005 adults commissioned by the Journal du Dimanche found 77% supported a gradual shut-down of France's nuclear power plants within 30 years. A fifth of those in favour said it should happen sooner.

Germany announced last month that it would shut down its nuclear plants by 2022 following safety concerns as a result of the Japanese earthquake and the Fukushima radiation leak.

Nuclear represents only 22% of German electricity production, whereas France has 58 reactors that produce 73% of the country's electricity supply, making it the world's second-biggest nuclear power behind the United States.

Green party Europe Ecologie-Les Verts is campaigning for a complete withdrawal and wants the Socialists to do the same before it considers a potential partnership in next year's elections.

Socialist presidential candidate François Hollande has instead suggested cutting France's dependence on nuclear by half, while the French government insists it will not change its direction.

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