November 28, 2016 - 13:52 AMT
Switzerland votes against strict timetable for nuke power phaseout

People in Switzerland voting in a referendum have rejected a proposal to introduce a strict timetable for phasing out nuclear power, BBC News said.

A projection for SRF public television showed the initiative failing by 55% to 45%.

A majority of cantons (Swiss states) voted against the initiative.

The plan, backed by the Green Party, would have meant closing three of Switzerland's five nuclear plants next year, with the last shutting in 2029.

The five plants currently generate almost 40% of Switzerland's electricity.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Swiss government said it would gradually move the country towards renewable energy by 2050.

It said nuclear plants should continue to operate as long as they are deemed safe, but did not set a precise timetable.

Environmentalists have said no nuclear reactors should be allowed to operate for longer than 45 years - meaning that at least two would have had to close almost immediately.

But business leaders and the government said shutting them down too quickly could lead to power shortages and raise reliance on fossil fuels.