Plant lifetime limits rejected

3 August 2002

SWITZERLAND Moves to introduce operating lifetime limits for Switzerland's nuclear plants have been rejected by the country's lower house of parliament.

During a debate aimed at updating the country's nuclear law, two proposals to introduce lifetime limits (to 30 years in one proposal and 40 years in the other) were clearly rejected by the National Council. Government proposals to ban the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel as part of a new nuclear energy law were also rejected. A move to introduce a 10-year moratorium on reprocessing - already approved by the upper house, the Council of States - was not voted on for procedural reasons.

The Swiss Association for Atomic Energy pointed out that the session ended before many items relating to the full nuclear energy bill could be tabled. Both houses will have to vote again on the bill once they reconvene for their autumn session.

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