Public support for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Pomerania remains high

26.01.2024

After PEJ obtained the environmental and location decisions and intensified the cooperation with the US Westinghouse-Bechtel consortium, the public support for the construction of a nuclear power plant remains high at 67% among residents of the Choczewo commune, which is the immediate vicinity of the area, where the plant is planned to be built. A similar level of support for the investment project (66%) was recorded in the region of the planned investment project, i.e. the Wejherowo, Puck and Lębork poviats. An opinion poll in the site region of Poland's first nuclear power plant was conducted in 2023 by the PBS research agency based in Sopot.

The key findings of the PBS survey, “Postawy wobec energetyki jądrowej 2023” [English: “Opinions on Nuclear Energy 2023”], were as follows:

  • During the year, support for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the immediate vicinity of the investment project among residents of the Choczewo commune remained high at 67%.
  • Support for the construction of a nuclear power plant among residents of the three poviats in the area of the investment project site – Wejherowo, Puck and Lębork – reached 66% in 2023.
  • In the three poviats surveyed – Wejherowo, Puck and Lębork – as many as 70% of respondents stated they believe nuclear power should be developed in Poland in the coming years.
  • 81% of respondents from the Choczewo commune believe that the development of nuclear power will provide access to cheaper electricity.
  • Residents of the Choczewo commune appreciate the activities in the area of corporate social responsibility and support for local communities carried out by Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe – 88% of those surveyed considered the Social Initiative Support Program to be important for their region, with one in three respondents rating the Support Program for Social Initiatives (PWIS) as very important for the commune.

 

The survey, “Postawy wobec energetyki jądrowej 2023”, conducted by the independent research agency PBS, showed that knowledge of plans to build a nuclear power plant in Poland in 2023 is common in the region. Almost all residents of the Choczewo commune (97%) and 88% of residents of Lębork, Puck and Wejherowo poviats have heard about the plans. The fact that 2 out of 3 residents support the execution of this investment project in their commune is all the more important, because 2023 was a milestone year for the project. Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe obtained a decision on environmental conditions in September 2023 and a location decision in October 2023. This means that the “Lubiatowo-Kopalino” site in the Choczewo commune, designated by PEJ as the preferred one, is final.

 

Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe have been building support for the construction of the plant for years

The investor responsible for the construction of Poland's first nuclear power plant has been conducting communication activities in the region where the plant will be built for more than a decade. Local Information Points have been operating in Choczewo, Gniewino and Krokowa since 2013. In a survey conducted by the PBS agency based in Sopot, 80% of surveyed residents of the Choczewo commune considered Local Information Points to be a needed source of information about the investment project. There is also a very high level of support from the residents of the Choczewo commune for the program of support for local communities carried out by Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe, which finances or co-finances local initiatives important to residents, including the construction or modernization of roads, school renovations, or the construction of sports facilities. The survey showed that 88% of respondents considered the Support Program for Social Initiatives important. If respondents were to decide for themselves how to spend the program's funds, most would allocate the funds to infrastructure (28%), commune development in general (13%), and education, including co-financing schools, kindergartens and nurseries (11%).

 

Residents of Pomerania see the need to develop nuclear power in Poland

The vast majority of residents in the three poviats of the site region appreciate the advantages of nuclear power and believe that it should have an important place in the Polish energy mix. In the survey, nuclear power was also among the three most frequently indicated areas of the energy sector that should be developed in Poland. As many as 70% of residents in the three poviats of the site area expressed support for it. This is the highest result for any of the electricity sources identified in the survey. Photovoltaics came in second with a score of 69%, followed by offshore wind farms (67%). In the case of the Choczewo commune, nuclear power was also on the podium, receiving 71%. It gave way only to photovoltaics (77%) and onshore windmills (79%). Among the undoubted advantages of nuclear power, residents of the Choczewo commune point to prospects for lower electricity bills. Four out of five residents of this commune (81%) believe that the development of nuclear power in Poland will ensure cheaper electricity.

 

Survey methodology is important to obtain representative results

The survey was carried out by the PBS agency based in Sopot on behalf of Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe in the same timeframe as the year before, i.e. November/December 2023.

It was conducted on a high sample of more than 2,800 respondents and was carried out by computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) at the respondent's place of residence using a standardized questionnaire. This methodology allows the results to be as representative as possible of the study population. The CAPI method used eliminates the problem of technological exclusion, as such a survey is open to all people regardless of wealth status and computer literacy, including those without phones or the Internet. This is not possible using CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) or CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interview) methods.

 

The sample consisted of randomly selected permanent residents of the Choczewo commune and – for the first time – of three poviats in the investment project area: the Lębork, Puck and Wejherowo poviats. The survey was carried out in accordance with the highest standards of statistical research so that the results faithfully reflect real views on the investment project among commune and poviat residents. The total sample size was n=2807, including n=600 in the Choczewo commune. The Choczewo commune has a population of around 5,500, which means that about 10% of the commune’s population has been surveyed. This percentage is high in relation to nationwide surveys, which, being representative of the entire country, are often conducted on samples of about 1,000 respondents.

 

PBS is one of the leading research agencies in Poland. The company has been ranked among the top ten research companies in Poland for years. PBS is a founding member of the Polish Association of Public Opinion and Marketing Research Firms (OFBOR), and its employees join the ranks of the Polish Society of Market and Opinion Researchers (PTBRiO). The company is also a member of the Business Centre Club (BCC) and the international organization ESOMAR. PBS is certified by the Pollster Quality Control Program (PKJPA) in all categories of surveys.