Switzerland’s government has recently begun discussing extending the scheduled closure of the nation’s nuclear power stations, according to RTS.
On 26 May 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Council rejected the institutional framework agreement, a deal put together by the EU that would have replaced Switzerland’s existing patchwork of agreements with the bloc.
It appears that some in the Swiss government are concerned that the current electricity sharing arrangements with the EU could now run aground at some point.
During the cooler winter months Switzerland imports electricity from the EU. If the current Swiss-EU electricity sharing arrangement fell apart, Switzerland might not be able to keep all of its lights on.
To manage this risk some are warming to the idea of Switzerland extending the operating life of its nuclear reactors to increase the country’s level of self sufficiency and to buy more time to develop energy alternatives.
Swiss voters decided in a vote in 2017 that no new nuclear reactors could be built. Today, four remain in operation. Legally, they can continue to operate as long as they are deemed safe. In 2019, operating time spans of 50 to 60 years were discussed.
In addition, the price of European electricity has risen, increasing the cost of imports and making an operating extension more attractive.