Swiss voters reject plan to speed up exit from nuclear energy

The Green party plans would have meant closing three of five nuclear plants next year.

November 28, 2016   by ASSOCIATED PRESS

BERLIN — Swiss voters have rejected a plan to force their government to accelerate the country’s exit from nuclear energy.

A majority of cantons (states) voted against the plan in the Nov. 27 referendum. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, proposals need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass.

The plan promoted by the Green party would have meant closing three of Switzerland’s five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029. A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55% to 45%.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government adopted a gradualist approach toward transitioning the country to renewable energy by 2050. It said nuclear plants should continue to operate as long as they are deemed safe, but didn’t set a precise timetable.

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