Vast majority of voters against nuclear power

Most Swiss citizens are against nuclear power, but a majority came out against a proposal to limit the lifespan of the country's power stations Keystone

Three out of four Swiss citizens are against nuclear power plants according to a study published in the wake of last November’s nationwide ballot on limiting the lifespan of such installations.

This content was published on January 19, 2017 - 15:19 with agencies/ug

Presenting their findings on Thursday, researchers said 76% of the survey respondents said they preferred Switzerland closing down its five nuclear power stations.

However, 54% of voters last November rejected a proposal by the Green Party to shut down the plants after 45 years in operation.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds of supporters of rightwing and centre-right parties, including the Swiss People’s Party, are opposed to nuclear power.

The findings are in line with previous surveys carried out in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power accident in Japan six years ago.

Study leader, Georg Lutz from Lausanne University, said the apparent contradiction between the latest survey and the November 2016 vote could be explained by the relatively short deadline for the planned closure of nuclear power plants.

For their part, supporters of Switzerland’s nuclear exit cited safety concerns about the power plants.

The survey, which is based on interviews with 1,578 citizens across the country, was carried out jointly by Lausanne University, the Aarau-based Centre for Democratic Studies and the market research institute, Link.

Meanwhile, the Swiss People’s Party on Thursday handed in the necessary signatures for a new nationwide vote on nuclear power as part of the government’s energy strategy, approved by parliament last year.

The vote is set for May 21. 

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