A new poll conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has showed that majority of people in the UK backs government subsidies to set up new nuclear power plants in the country.

Around 43% of over 2,000 people surveyed think that the government should subsidise the construction of new reactors, compared to only 28% who do not support the idea.

According to the survey, about 46% supported the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK, while 29% are not in favour of such projects.

The survey also found that the main reason for backing nuclear power was because it ensures a secure supply of electricity, with 70% of respondents supported new reactors.

About 55% said they supported nuclear power because it emits low carbon, while 50% responded that it was reliable and provides jobs.

According to IMechE, 43% supported nuclear power because it is cheaper than other forms of electricity generation.

About 73% opposed new nuclear power plants as dangerous, while 70% cited issues relating to nuclear waste.

IMechE energy and environment head Tim Fox said for years the government has been reluctant to offer nuclear power developers an open subsidy, partly out of fear of public back-lash, however the poll results show that these fears could be unwarranted.

"The future of the UK new nuclear build programme is currently on a knife-edge. Without an agreed guaranteed commercially attractive long-term price for the electricity from new nuclear plants (the ‘strike price’), and a suitable source of investment finance, there can be no progress on building new UK reactors," Fox added.