Fukushima impacts Swiss energy future.

Fonction News

As Japan struggles with the consequences of March's earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima nuclear power station remains a serious threat to residents of nearby shattered communities, as well as to the region's environment. Even beyond Japan's shores, the repercussions of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake are still being felt: specifically, in terms of the world's acceptance of nuclear power and confidence in the technology's resilience to natural disaster.

Following Japan's quake, Switzerland's Energy Minister Doris Leuthard mothballed plans for three new nuclear power stations in the Confederation, pending a review of their resilience to natural disaster. She also ordered an urgent review of safety at existing nuclear facilities. Although major earthquakes are relatively unusual in Switzerland, areas of the country are considered earthquake zones, including Canton Valais, parts of Central Switzerland and Graubunden; the city of Basel was destroyed by a magnitude 6+ quake in 1356, causing significant loss of life. Such quakes are--according to BAFU (the Federal Department for the Environment) once in 1,000-year occurrences; however, it is a risk that cannot be ignored.

As Swiss News reported back in July 2010, Switzerland faces an energy shortfall and...

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