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Swiss nuclear plants declared earthquake safe
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9 July 2012
ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's nuclear power plants could withstand a serious earthquake, the country's nuclear safety regulator said on Monday in a study prompted by the Fukushima disaster.
'Swiss nuclear plans would stand up to an earthquake that might happen once in 10,000 years at the most,' said Georg Schwarz of the Federal Nuclear Security Inspectorate.
The study also said dams protecting the Muehleberg plant from a possible flood should hold firm in an earthquake.
Muehleberg, built in 1972 and operated by BKW FMB, is one of the plants frequently cited by opponents of nuclear energy as ripe for mothballing.
The Swiss government decided to phase out nuclear power by 2034 after the Fukushima tragedy, triggered when an earthquake unleashed a tsunami, shook public confidence in the industry.
Switzerland derives about 40 percent of its electricity from five nuclear plants.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jason Neely)
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