Italy to China: four countries sidelining nuclear power

By , Staff writer

Switzerland

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    The nuclear power plant of Goesgen is seen behind rain drops on a car window, in Goesgen, Switzerland, on June 8.
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Since the nuclear crisis in Japan, Switzerland has taken incremental steps to phase out its own nuclear program, which supplies 40 percent of the country’s energy. In March the government shelved a plan to replace its oldest nuclear plants, BBC reports.

Its five plants were all built before 1985. The oldest one still in use has been in use since 1969. Switzerland's decision to halt all new construction made it the first country in Europe to make an official change to policy as a result of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

On June 8, the lower house of the Swiss parliament approved a government proposal to shut down the country’s five nuclear reactors by 2034, the Associated Press reports. Almost all of the country’s political parties backed the proposal, which is expected to pass the upper house when it comes up for a vote.

Public opinion turned against nuclear power following Japan’s meltdown. Prior to the government proposal, nuclear power seemed likely to be a huge political issue in October parliamentary elections. Last month, the country saw the largest antinuclear protest in Switzerland in 25 years.

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