Nuclear Power in Switzerland. Facts and Figures

Seminar Paper, 2011

8 Pages, Grade: 2,0



1 Introduction

2 Facts and Figures

3 Advantages and Disadvantages of nuclear power

4 Proposal for a new national policy

5 Nuclear waste

6 Bibliography

1 Introduction

"The only way to a long term safe and socially acceptable energy supply leads on renewable energy. You only need to replace nuclear power and the coal-fired power plants by 2050. This is the best employment and growth strategy for our country. "

Norbert Röttgen, German Federal Environment Minister (17.02.2010)

I want to begin with this citation, because the thought of Norbert Röttgen reflects at large my opinion about nuclear power.

The next step in this work will be the current situation in Switzerland with some facts and figures. After that I will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power. The main part will then be my proposal for a new national policy toward nuclear power, which will include environmental, health, and economic implications.

2 Facts and Figures

In Switzerland, nuclear energy is used only for producing electricity and for application in medicine, industry and research. The 10-year average annual proportion of nuclear energy used for producing electricity is 39%. For comparison the European average is 33%. So the Swiss average is above the European average.

Switzerland has five nuclear power plants. They have a total capacity of 3.2 GW. The annual availability rate is approximately 90%. The power plants are Beznau I, Beznau II, Mühleberg, Gösgen and Leibstadt. The fist commissioning power plant in Switzerland was Beznau I in 1969. In the whole world are currently 440 nuclear power plants in use. They make up 17% of the total global electricity production.1

In my opinion has Switzerland to many power plants if we relate how small Switzerland is and compare it also with other nations. You have also to consider that in Graben and Kaiseraugst the city I live, were planned two nuclear power plants more. The construction was abandoned because of the population which lives there. But there exist also other projects in Verbois, Inwil and Rüthi.

3 Advantages and Disadvantages of nuclear power

Nuclear power has nearly the same cost as coal, so we can say that it is not expensive to produce. But at the same time this advantages could result in a disadvantage because of the cheapness of energy the population has a wrong incentive to use to much energy even they don't need it. So they are wasteful.

A big advantage of nuclear power is that they don't produce smoke or carbon dioxide, so it does not contribute to the greenhouse effect. This is very nice, but it doesn't mean that it does not produce any waste. Actually they don't produce much waste, but the problem is that it is very dangerous. It must be sealed up and buried for many thousands of years to allow the radioactivity to die away. For all that time it must be kept safe and it is very difficult and expensive.

On the other side nuclear power has another advantage, because they produce huge amounts of energy from small amounts offuel.

And last but not least nuclear power is reliable. But a lot of money has to be spent on safety. Because even the probability is small that something could go wrong, a nuclear accident can be a major disaster as we saw in Tschernobyl and recently in Fukushima.2


1 Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, 01.09.2011

2 Energy Resources: Nuclear power (01.09.2011)

Excerpt out of 8 pages


Nuclear Power in Switzerland. Facts and Figures
University of Basel
Environmental Law and Public Policy
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
433 KB
2,0 (dt. Notensystem) entspricht 5,0 (CH)
nuclear, power, environmental, public, policy, energy, environment
Quote paper
Francesco Vazzano (Author), 2011, Nuclear Power in Switzerland. Facts and Figures, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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