Photo taken on Nov. 27, 2016 shows the Muhleberg Nuclear Power Plant, about 19 km west of Bern, capital of Switzerland. A Swiss Green Party proposal to close all five of Switzerland's nuclear power plants by 2029 was rejected by 54.2 percent of voters in a federal referendum on Sunday. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
GENEVA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Swiss Green Party proposal to close all five of Switzerland's nuclear power plants by 2029 was rejected by 54.2 percent of voters in a federal referendum on Sunday.
Backed by 45.8 percent of the electorate, the initiative aimed to limit the life-span of nuclear power plants on Swiss territory to 45 years while preventing any future production of nuclear energy.
If the "yes" vote had prevailed in the plebiscite, three nuclear power plants would have had to shut down next year.
The two remaining Gosgen and Leibstadt nuclear power plants would have had to close in 2024 and 2029 respectively.
Around 40 percent of Switzerland's electricity is generated by these five plants. According to the Green Party and other Swiss political groups who backed the initiative, nuclear energy is not only dangerous but also costly.
While committed to gradually decommissioning the country's nuclear power plants under its 2050 energy strategy, the Swiss government stood against the initiative, arguing that it would lead to a premature closing of Swiss plants.
Swiss legislation requires that popular initiatives secure both voter and cantonal majority in order to pass, neither of which were achieved in the last initiative to be put to a popular vote this year.