Czech public opinion on small modular reactors – June 2020


In its June 2020 survey, the Our Society series included a battery of questions on issues of energy. Within that battery, we focused on a new avenue of development of nuclear energy in the world, namely the so-called small modular reactors.

Only slightly under one-fifth of citizens have ever heard of the technology of socalled small modular reactors.

Among the advantages of small modular reactors, people most often stated ensuring stable energy supply, lower risk of severe accidents compared to large reactors, more easily regulated output compared to large reactors, and possibly making the energy system independent of large, central sources of power.

The most frequently mentioned disadvantages included the fact that small modular reactors generate radioactive waste and represent a new technology that has not been field-tested yet.

A considerable majority of the public would find it acceptable to install small modular reactors on the premises of existing nuclear power plants. However, only slightly over one-fourth of the respondents find it acceptable to install a small modular reactor within 10 km of their place of residence, while over one-half find it unacceptable.

More than two in three respondents think that the Czech Republic should support research and development in the field of small nuclear reactors.