We at WISE Amsterdam would like to thank Stuart Field. Since 2000 he had been our editor and did his job with great devotion. Now he has decided to look for another job and leave us at the end of this month. We wish Stuart the very best of luck with a new job!
All at WISE Amsterdam.
After almost three years as editor, first of the WISE News Communique and then of the WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor, my time at WISE Amsterdam is coming to an end. In this time, I have learned a lot about editing, writing and translation, as well as things nuclear. It has been a challenging and often stressful task for me, keeping up with the latest news while at the same time meeting the publication deadlines. Now it is time for me to move on. I wish the new editorial team the best of luck, and hope that the WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor will move from strength to strength.
Yours for a nuclear free world,
NIRS and WISE both celebrate their 25th anniversaries this year. This is the eight article in a series, "25 years ago", comparing anti-nuclear news "then" and "now", to mark our first quarter-century of anti-nuclear campaigning.
In issue 2 of WISE Bulletin we wrote about a nationwide referendum in Switzerland: "The initiative was taken by the anti-nuclear movement. Voters will be asked to say 'yes' to a text defining in more detail the provisions of the Swiss constitution, under which a power plant can only be built if the protection of the population is ensured. In particular, it would require: an authorization voted by parliament (and subject to recall if safety conditions cease to be met); approval in a referendum of all citizens residing with a 30 km. Radius from the site; and a no ceiling insurance on the plant". (WISE Bulletin 2, July 1978)
The referendum was held in February 1979 but was rejected as only 49% voted for the proposal. (WISE News Communique 518, 24 September 1999)
Since the 1979 referendum, three more nationwide referendums have been held on the future of nuclear energy. In 1984, 46% of the population voted for a 10 year moratorium on building new nuclear power plants and thus lacked a majority.
In 1990, the proposal for a 10 year moratorium on new reactors was more successful when 54.5% voted 'yes' to it. A second initiative for a phaseout of existing reactors (within 30 years) however was rejected when only 47% supported that.
On 18 May 2003, the latest referendum on nuclear energy was held. The Moratorium Plus called for another 10 year ban on building new reactors and a phaseout of existing reactors within 40 years of operation time. The Electricity without Nuclear initiative demanded a maximum lifetime of 30 years for the existing reactors and an end to reprocessing. (WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor 564, 8 March 2002)
Both proposals in the latest referendum were rejected. The Moratorium Plus was rejected by 58.4% of the voters and the Electricity without Nuclear by 66.3% of the voters. (WNA News Briefing 03.20, 14-20 May 2003)
An analysis of the outcome of the last referendum will be given by Sortir du nucléaire elsewhere in this issue.
Editorial team: Stuart Field, Robert Jan van den Berg (WISE Amsterdam), Michael Mariotte (NIRS). With contributions from Réseau Sortir du nucléaire, Sierra Club of Canada and WISE Czech Republic.
Reproduction of this material is encouraged. Please give credit when reprinting.