Swiss Voters Back Phaseout of Nuclear Power

They endorsed a new energy law that bans new nuclear power plants, supports renewable energy sources, and seeks to encourage lower energy consumption. The vote was 58 percent in favor.

A national voter in Switzerland endorsed a new energy law that bans new nuclear power plants, supports renewable energy sources, and seeks to encourage lower energy consumption. The vote was 58 percent in favor of the Energy Strategy program.

Opponents pointed out that the five existing nuclear power plants currently supply 38 percent of Switzerland's power, and that portion won't be easily replaced.

Voters who live closest to the five nuclear reactors rejected the reform, according to local coverage of the results.

Claude Longchamp of the GfS Bern research institute said the voters put their faith in the arguments of Energy Minister Doris Leuthard and the government rather than the opponents' arguments. "After six years of debate in parliament and at committee level, a new chapter in Switzerland's energy policy can begin," Longchamp said, "but there is still a lot of work to do."

The Energy Strategy 2050 was approved by the Swiss parliament last year but was challenged by the Swiss People's Party and brought to a nationwide vote.

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