Switzerland’s Mühleberg nuclear plant plans to build a facility to deal with 1,000 tonnes of light radioactive waste after it goes offline next year. Such treatment centres have been given the green light by a government proposal to update laws.
The agency running the canton Bern plant told Swiss public television that it wants to have the treatment facility up and running by 2025, and treating the radioactive waste for the following 30 years. But a spokesperson would not reveal how much it would cost, how big it would be or where it will be located.
Earlier this month, the government put forward proposals to consultation that would allow lighter radioactive waste to be disposed of in this way by the beginning of 2019. Currently, all waste must be buried in deep geological depositaries.
The proposals state that individual cantons must agree to the construction of waste treatment plants before they can be built.
In 2011, Switzerland decided to phase out nuclear power, which supply an average 35% of the country’s electricity production, following the Fukushima disaster, but there is no clear timetable for decommissioning plants.
In November, Swiss voters rejected an initiative that called for all of Switzerland’s five nuclear reactors to be shut down no later than 45 years after they started operating.