Anti-nuclear Movement in Switzerland

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In 2008, nuclear energy provided Switzerland with 40 per cent of its electricity, but a survey of Swiss people found that only seven per cent of respondents were totally in favor of energy production by nuclear power stations. Many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests have occurred over the years. Several referenda to ban nuclear power have been rejected by the Swiss people.

In 2008, nuclear energy provided Switzerland with 40 per cent of its electricity, but a survey of Swiss people found that only seven per cent of respondents were totally in favor of energy production by nuclear power stations. Many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests have occurred over the years. Several referenda to ban nuclear power have been rejected by the Swiss people.


Contents

Early movement

In the 70s, there was a strong international movement in the so-called »Dreyeckland« (Germany, Switzerland, France) against nuclear plants. In that time, the building place of the nuclear plant Kaiseraugst was squatted.


Referendum

Two referendums against nuclear power in 1979 and 1984 were lost. In 1990, a referendum was accepted to stop the building of new plants for ten years [1].

There were two referendums against nuclear power in 2003, one of them to end nuclear plants (Strom ohne Atom), the other one just a moratorium for new plants (Moratorium jetzt). Both failed. After that, the swiss anti-nuclear movement was nearly nonexistent for a while.

In 2012, there will be a new referendum about the usage of nuclear power [2].


New movement

In 2007, it became public that the industry plans to build new plants within the next years. This put new life in the movement [3].

In Benken, there is resistance against a final storage of nuclear waste.


Uranium mining

Currently the Canadian company AuroVallis is investigating the possibility of uranium mining in Wallis, a part of Switzerland [4]. It is known since the early 80s that there are uranium ressources in Wallis, though at that time it was not commercially interesting. With the higher uranium price ("Peak Uranium"), it may become interesting to investigate new uranium ressources.


Public opinion

In 2008, nuclear energy provided Switzerland with 40 per cent of its electricity, but a survey of 1,026 Swiss people found that just seven per cent of respondents were totally in favor of energy production by nuclear power stations. Double that percentage were fully opposed. Most of the survey respondents said they were fairly in favor (33 per cent) or fairly opposed (38 per cent). Eight per cent had no answer. One of the most contenious issues is the disposal of radioactive waste. At present, spent nuclear material is "kept in temporary aboveground facilities while politicians and communities wrangle about where to bury it."[5]


Organizations

Anti-nuclear groups


Organizations connected to nuclear issues


References

  1. http://www10.antenna.nl/wise/518/5086.html
  2. http://diepresse.com/home/wirtschaft/economist/392737/index.do?from=suche.intern.portal
  3. http://www.woz.ch/artikel/rss/15922.html
  4. http://www.bazonline.ch/schweiz/standard/Kanadier-suchen-im-Wallis-nach-Uran/story/22297852
  5. Atomic energy unpopular despite widespread use
  6. For protection against automatical email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol.

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