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Swiss to phase out nuclear power by 2034

Written By krishna on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | 9:46 PM

The Swiss cabinet will gradually decommission all Switzerland’s nuclear power plants by 2034.

Energy Minister Doris Leuthard said the country’s five nuclear power stations would not be replaced when they reach the end of their lifespan.

The government’s recommendation on Wednesday will now be discussed by parliament from June 8 and a final decision is expected in the middle of next month.

Leuthard said the government was going on a lifespan of 50 years, meaning the first of five power stations would have to close in 2019 and the last in 2034.

Other options had included maintaining the status quo and replacing the three oldest plants or abandoning entirely and rapidly the use of nuclear energy.

The government’s decision on the future of nuclear power comes days after an estimated 20,000 people participated in the biggest anti-nuclear protest in Switzerland for 25 years.

On Sunday, anti-nuclear protesters, chanting and waving placards, marched in two groups to the site of Beznau, Switzerland’s oldest nuclear power plant which is located in canton Aargau.

The protesters called on the government to immediately shut down the Mühleberg and Beznau power stations, the two oldest of the country’s five nuclear power plants.

FukushimaSome 40 per cent of Switzerland’s energy needs are supplied by the country’s five nuclear power plants, which generate some 26 billion kilowatt hours a year.

In the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the Swiss government suspended all processes relating to the building of new power plants and ordered a review of options for the country’s energy mix in the future.

Source: swissinfo.ch and agencies
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