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Beznau Protest Success: All Swiss Nuclear Power Plants To Go Offline Until 2034


In an article I published this week, I’ve been saying that it’s hard to almost impossible for a country like France, which depends heavily on nuclear power, to give up using it.

Well, it looks like the democratic process worked after all in Switzerland, where crowds peacefully demonstrating near one of the oldest nuclear power plant in Beznau succeeded convincing the authorities to give up nuclear for good until 2034.

That is the year when the last reactor will go offline, and the government has said none will be built after that. In fact, the government had already suspended the approval for three new plants in March, following the aftermath of Fukushima.

Besides the Beznau protest, several other protests throughout the country have democratically forced the government to this decision. The one held in Beznau was the largest, though, gathering over 20,000 people.

Of course, things won’t happen too quickly, because it’s simply not possible. Since Switzerland still depends on its five nuclear power plants, it needs time to develop renewable energy solutions.

In a confirmation to the protesters’ aims, the government statement accepted that nuclear power will be economically unfeasible in the future due to the fast development of renewable energy solutions, which are expected to ultimately outprice anything, including nuclear.

[via npr/cleantechnica]

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  1. This is incorrect. Key statements have been, I think, misunderstood by media. Switzerland has opted to not build any new nuclear reactors. That is correct. However, they stated there is no set date for the last nuclear power plant to go offline, because the lifetime can be 50 years or 60 years, and there’s just no way to tell. What they also said, and which is key in relation to the previous statement, is that nuclear power plants will remain online as long as they are “guaranteed safe”. That is the main point they decided on: nuclear safety as priority. Once a nuclear power plant is considered not safe, due to leakage or concrete walls falling off or whatever EU and Switzerland sets for protocols, they will get shut down. This practically translates to that nuclear power plant owners can invest money infinitely into their plants for upgrades that keep them “guaranteed safe” and could run for 100 years for all we know.


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