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Swiss Nuclear Decision

  • May 27th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

nuclear-topnewsnznet1.jpegThe government of Switzerland has moved to pull out of nuclear power – the latest installment in a review of the technology following the Fukushima crisis in Japan, last March.

The cabinet in Berne determined to recommend to parliament the decommissioning of the country’s five nuclear power stations, over a fifteen-year period beginning in 2019.

The move follows decisions to review the nuclear industry in Germany, with the suspension of operations at key plants, and also the suspension of a scheme for expanding the nuclear network in Italy.

The European Union has coordinated a full security testing program to cover almost all of the 13 nuclear power stations in Europe.

In a round of hard-headed negotiations, representatives of Britain, the Czech Republic and France have got the terms of the review reduced, so that the testing would not cover proof against terrorist attacks.

Part of the rationale for that move was that internal law and security management remains with national authorities, under the EU Treaties.

The testing will be aimed at strengthening security against accident or natural disasters, with possible closing of plants that cannot comply.

Critics of the nuclear industry say the removal of “terrorist” clauses in the proposed safety checks agreement will give it a reprieve from proper accountability.

Reactor plants were damaged at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan, in  the earthquake and tsunami disaster on 11.3.11, causing persistent leakage of radiation, amid desperate efforts to bring the reactors to a cold shut-down.

See EUAustralia Online: “May Day in Germany”, (1.5.11); “Japan nuclear crisis: serious still”, (1.4.11);  “New nuclear safety regime for Europe?”, (22.3.11); “Nuclear debate as Japan crisis continues”, (15.3.11).

Reference

Leigh Phillips, agencies, “Europe divided over nuclear power after Fukushima disaster”, The Guardian, Manchester, 25.5.11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/25/europe-divided-nuclear-power-fukushima, (27.5.11).

James Kanter, “Switzerland Decides on Nuclear Phase-Out”, NYT, NY, 25.5.11. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/business/global/26nuclear.html, (27.5.11).

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