Nuclear phase-out rejected

3 June 2003

Switzerland has rejected two anti-nuclear initiatives calling for a phase-out of nuclear power. The result comes after the two proposals, Moratorium Plus and Electricity without Nuclear were first put forward in 1998.

A total of 60% of those who voted rejected Moratorium Plus, which called for an extension of the current 10-year moratorium on new nuclear plant construction for a further 10 years, while also imposing new conditions on the operation of the country's five existing nuclear power plants.

Electricity without Nuclear was rejected by 67% of those who voted. The initiative called for a step-by-step phase-out of nuclear energy in Switzerland, an end to the reprocessing of spent fuel, and a switch to non-nuclear energy sources without total reliance on fossil fuels.

The Swiss association for atomic energy (SVA) said: "The rejection of the two anti-nuclear initiatives saves the population dozens of billions of Francs in increased costs. It is now possible to exploit the past investments made in the existing nuclear power plants. Switzerland has wisely decided to keep to the existing energy mix of 60% hydro and 40% nuclear."

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