Today, Swiss voted on whether to accelerate the closure of the nation’s five nuclear reactors. The government’s existing plan to exit nuclear power generation involves shutting down all five reactors at the end of their safe lifesspans, which it estimates to be 50 years. This would mean closing them all between 2019 and 2034. Under the nuclear initiative, voted on today, shutdown would be accelerated, starting in 2017 with the last closure starting in 2029.
Across the country, most cantons rejected the initiative. The map below shows results by canton. The only cantons voting in favour were Geneva, Vaud, Jura, Neuchâtel, Basel-City and Basel Landschaft. All other cantons voted “No”. The cantons most heavily in favour were Basel-City (60.5%) and Geneva (59%). The cantons most against it were Schwyz (31.9%) and Nidwalden (35%).
According to official nationwide results, 54% voted against the initiative.
If the initiative had been approved, the nuclear power stations Mühleberg and Beznau 1 and 2 would have been closed in 2017, Gösgen in 2024 and Leibstadt in 2029.
The Federal Council was against the initiative on the grounds that Switzerland would be forced use fossil fuel and import electricity. Premature decommissioning would also mean that nuclear power station operators could claim compensation from the Confederation and taxpayers. It prefers the current plan to shutdown existing reactors at the end of their safe operational lifespans to give Switzerland sufficient time to restructure its energy supply system.