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Planned nuclear plants pass initial hurdle

Gösgen - one of three sites for a new nuclear power plant


Three sites for new nuclear power stations have been given a stamp of approval by the national regulatory authorities.

The Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate said nuclear safety and the security of the planned facilities at Beznau, Gösgen and Mühleberg were sufficient to continue the projects.

However, the experts set a number of additional conditions to be considered ahead of the construction of the facilities which are all situated next to existing nuclear power plants.

Critics argue the report, which was published on Monday, does not include details on the type of reactors to be built.

The government is to decide on the requests by electricity companies by the middle of 2012, before parliament and, possibly, voters will have the final say.

There are presently five nuclear power reactors in Switzerland, but their lifespan is limited.

In 2003 voters rejected an initiative to extend a ten-year moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power stations and the government in 2007 decided to replace existing facilities to prevent a power shortfall.

Two years ago three applications were handed in by the companies Alpiq, Axpo and BKW-FMB.


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