Greens slam plans for new nuclear plants
Anti-nuclear groups have criticised plans for a new atomic power station to replace ageing plants in Switzerland.
They say renewable energy could produce as much power as is currently generated by three nuclear reactors.
The groups, including WWF Switzerland, the Swiss Energy Foundation, the Greens and the Social Democratic Party, said up to 27.5 billion-kilowatt hours of electricity could be saved by 2020.
They dismissed allegations by the energy industry that Switzerland was facing a shortage of power unless electricity output could be increased.
The organisations said alternative methods, including wind and solar power, could compensate for the loss of output from nuclear power stations.
“Those who promote a new nuclear power plant are playing Russian roulette,” said Geri Müller, a member of the Green Party in the federal parliament, at a news conference on Tuesday.
The groups called on the authorities and the business community to encourage more sustainable energy use.
The comments came ahead of a debate in the cantonal parliament of Bern about the future of the Mühleberg power plant near the capital, Bern.
The licence for Switzerland’s oldest nuclear plant is due to run out in 2012.
The Bern energy utility company, which is mainly owned by the canton of Bern, announced in October that it wanted to extend the lifespan of the power plant and leave all options open for the construction of a new reactor.
Last year, Swiss voters rejected proposals to extend a ten-year ban on the building of new nuclear power plants or the upgrading of the existing five reactors in Switzerland.
swissinfo with agencies
Switzerland has four nuclear power stations and a total of five nuclear reactors.
The licence of the Mühleberg plant near Bern is due to run out in 2012.
Swiss voters last year rejected a proposal to extend a ten-year ban on the construction of new nuclear reactors.
40% of Switzerland's energy production is from nuclear power stations.
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