Mon Jun 6, 2011 6:31PM

Protesters in France demand the shutdown of the country’s nuclear plants (file photo).
Over three quarters of the French population support a gradual shutdown of all of France’s nuclear power plants, a recent survey has shown.

The IFOP poll of 1,005 adults commissioned by the Journal du Dimanche found that 77 percent of the French people believe the country should follow Germany and abandon nuclear energy over a 30-year period.

About 25 percent of the participants believed the transition should take place sooner.

Last month, the German government announced plans to phase out all nuclear power plants in the country. On Monday, the German cabinet formally approved a bill to abolish nuclear power by 2022.

It made Germany the single largest industrialized nation to plan to give up nuclear energy altogether.

The seven oldest of Germany’s 17 reactors as well as the reactor in Kruemmel, which were taken off the grid after the nuclear disaster in Japan, were shut down immediately.

The decision to phase out Germany’s nuclear power plants came in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan.

On March 11, a powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima power plant, causing the release of radioactive material.

The incident is believed to be the world’s most devastating nuclear accident after the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1989.