Switzerland To Phase Out Nuclear Power

Switzerland has decided to make a ban on nuclear power plants permanent. The country's cabinet has called for a gradual decommissioning of its five nuclear power plants. Germany also has announced it would start shutting down its nuclear power program.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


The disaster at Japan's nuclear power plant has had a major impact on energy plans in Europe. Yesterday, the Swiss cabinet called for a complete phase-out of nuclear power in the coming decades. That makes it the second European country to move toward abandoning nuclear power in the wake of the problems in Japan.

Germany declared it would seek alternatives to nuclear power.


And last Sunday, some 20,000 people took to the streets in Switzerland to protest nuclear power. The Swiss cabinet responded. Yesterday it called for a gradual decommissioning of the country's five nuclear power plants. If the Swiss parliament approves the recommendation, the plants will be phased out over a 30-year period. The hope is that would buy enough time to come up with alternatives, such as hydroelectric, solar and wind power.

MONTAGNE: Also, the European Union has agreed to start conducting stress tests on the scores of nuclear plants that are in member states. The tests will take into account threats from natural disasters, plane crashes and explosions.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.