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Swiss Government Votes To Abandon Nuclear Power

Demonstrators attend a protest on May 22, 2011 in northern Switzerland against nuclear power. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators attend a protest on May 22, 2011 in northern Switzerland against nuclear power.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Wary of problems with Japan's troubled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear complex, the Swiss government voted to recomend the country's use of nuclear power. Switzerland has five nuclear power plants and Reuters says the decision means the country could wean itself off the last reactor by 2034.

Swiss officials say each reactors would stay open through its planned 50-year lifespan and then rotate out of service; the first beginning in 2019 and the last 15 years later, according to Swissinfo.ch.

The recommendation comes as European regulators proposed new safety checks on the dozens of nuclear reactors in the region, and proposed a new watchdog group to deal with any future nuclear crisis, according to Reuters.

Thousands of Swiss turned out last Sunday to demonstrate their opposition to nuclear power. Bloomberg cites Swiss police who estimate some 20,000 people marched on the country's oldest nuclear complex, demanding its closure, although Switzerland is heavily dependent on nuclear energy.

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