Swiss Atel plans new nuclear plant

June 13, 2008 at 3:09 PM
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OLTEN , Switzerland, June 13 (UPI) -- Switzerland is readying to build a new nuclear plant.

If plans move ahead, the plant would be the nation's first in more than 20 years. Swiss energy firm Atel announced its plans, saying a new plant would help to secure energy supplies in the coming decades.

Atel said it already submitted plans to the government for a new nuclear power plant. It would be set up near Olten in northern Switzerland, near the existing Goesgen nuclear facility.

Switzerland observed a moratorium on nuclear projects throughout the 1990s. However, in recent years the government has been eager to produce more energy, including nuclear energy, in order to meet increasing demand.

Some anti-nuclear groups already have announced a plan to seek a popular referendum on the issue.

Switzerland currently has five nuclear reactors generating 38 percent of the country's electricity. The last nuclear facility was built in 1984.

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