Swiss voters have voted against closing nuclear power plants after 45 years and banning the construction of new stations.
The Green Party initiative was rejected by 54.2% of voters.
According to the government, the lifespan of nuclear power plants, based on technical safety criteria, is “about 50 years”. This was too long for the Greens, who want to walk away from nuclear power without any vacillating.
In May 2011 they launched a people’s initiative “For a planned phase-out of nuclear energy”, which they handed in with well over 100,000 signatures in November 2012, qualifying it to go to a nationwide vote.
The initiative called for Swiss power plants – which supply on average 35% of the country’s electricity production – to be shut down after no more than 45 years of operation. This would have meant that the Beznau I and II reactors (in canton Aargau) and Mühleberg (Bern) would shut down in 2017, Gösgen (Solothurn) in 2024 and Leibstadt (Aargau) in 2029.