The survey, carried out by the Forsa polling firm for Focus magazine, showed 44 percent of those questioned were in favour of extending the licenses for nuclear power stations past the current end slated for 2022.
The figures – from 2,500 people questioned – showed a stark difference in opinion depending on political affiliation.
Of those who said they were supporters of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 62 percent said they supported longer nuclear power station licenses. Of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) supporters, 60 percent were in favour.
Only 35 percent of those who said they were supporters of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) were in favour of extending nuclear power station operations, while the figures for the socialist Left Party supporters and environmentalist Green Party supporters were 33 percent and 21 percent respectively.
Politicians are struggling to agree on whether to extend the licenses, which were limited in 2000 by the SPD-Green government.
Of those asked, 81 percent said they felt nuclear power would still be needed ‘for a while’ to cover energy demands. Only 15 percent said they believed Germany would ever be able to be completely nuclear free.
“The vast majority of citizens see the use of nuclear energy in a relaxed and pragmatic – and less emotional way,” said. Manfred Güllner, head of Forsa.