However, among 82% of those asked, the confidence in nuclear power remains unchanged.

Three out of every four believe that the risk for a similar accident with radioactive fallout in Sweden is fairly small.

Novus interviewed 1000 people over age 16 during March 17-22, when many of the consequences from the accident in Japan had become known.

Fear or not: Shortage of iodine pills in Sweden
The fear of radioactive fallout led Swedes to buy more iodine pills than ever. In only two days, a three-year supply was sold out.

Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency), calls it “nonsense,” as they see no reasons whatsoever for Swedes to consume iodine pills. Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (the Swedish Radiation Authority) has also been very clear in its information: No Swedes need to worry about radiation from a Japanese nuclear plant. Nobody in Sweden needs to consume iodine pills.

Even so, the shelves at the pharmacies were getting emptied. During a few days in mid-March, some 3 000 boxes of Kaliumjodid were sold. These pills exist to protect people who live near a nuclear plant in case of an accident. They contain stabilized iodine which is absorbed by the body, and thus protecting it from absorbing radioactive iodine from the environment.

“Whether they buy for themselves or send to Japan, I don’t know,” says Anders Lönner, CEO at Medas, which markets prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and medical equipment.