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Swiss Government wants command centre in case of ‘nuclear event’

Government wants command centre in case of ‘nuclear event’

The Swiss government on Friday laid out responsibilities in case of a nuclear attack or nuclear disaster linked to the war in Ukraine. September 30, 2022

While the defence ministry currently considers this unlikely, the government says it is necessary to be prepared and be able to react rapidly.

It has tasked the defence ministry to set up a Federal Strategic Command Staff if there were to be such an event or it looked likely. This Command Staff will be headed by the secretary-general of the defence ministry and include the secretary generals of all the ministries, the federal government spokesperson, heads of the federal health, civil defence, energy and other key offices as well as representatives of the army, police and fire brigade…………………..more–nuclear-event-/47943850


September 29, 2022 Posted by | safety, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Switzerland plans controversial nuclear waste dump all too close to German border

 A plan for a nuclear waste storage facility in Switzerland is raising
safety concerns among Germans close to the border. The project, which is
backed by power plant operators, requires approval by the Swiss government.
Switzerland has announced plans to build a nuclear waste storage facility
on the border with Germany, leaving communities concerned about the issues
of safety and clean drinking water supply. The National Cooperative for the
Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) is behind the proposal. It suggested
the region of Nördlich Lägern, north of Zurich and close to the border
with Germany, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy said.

 Deutsche Welle 10th Sept 2022

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Switzerland, wastes | Leave a comment

Future threat to Europe’s water supplies as Switzerland’s glaciers are rapidly thawing

Switzerland’s glaciers have lost more than half their volume in less than a
hundred years, and the long hot summer this year has accelerated the thaw,
a new study shows. The glaciers support ski resorts and attract climbers
and hikers in summer, but are also essential to Europe’s water supply. Now,
communities across the Alps are worrying about their future.

BBC 1st Sept 2022

September 2, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Swiss nuclear power plant reduces output to protect fish during heatwave

One of Switzerland’s nuclear power stations has temporarily scaled back operations to avoid raising the temperature of its feeder river to levels that are dangerous for fish. , July 18, 2022

Beznau is Switzerland’s oldest nuclear plant and comprises two stations built on a small artificial island in the river Aare in the north of the country. Unlike two newer stations, Beznau was not built with a cooling tower but relies on water from the Aare to control temperatures.

Producing some 6,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year typically raises the temperature of downstream water by between 0.7 and one degree Celsius.

Switzerland is experiencing a prolonged summer heatwave that has already raised the temperature of rivers, including the Aare. Freshwater fish species living in the river cannot tolerate water temperatures much above 25 degrees Celsius.

As a result, Beznau operator Axpo has been forced to reduce output to meet its legal environmental commitments.

The plant would be forced to shut down completely if water temperatures rise above 25 degrees for three consecutive days, reports Swiss public broadcaster SRFExternal link.

Switzerland is already facing up to the impact of rising energy costs and potential shortagesExternal link in the coming months, driven in part by meteorological conditions but also disruptions caused by the Ukraine war.

But this danger is expected to strike in the winter months when Switzerland’s hydro-power dams are less productive. At this time of year, the river temperature issue will be less of a problem.

Switzerland produces around 30% of its electricity from its three nuclear power plants. The government decided in 2011 to phase out nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

The initial idea was to stop nuclear power production by 2034. The Mühleberg plant is currently being dismantledExternal link.

Uncertainties about securing long-term power supplies led to the fixed deadline of 2034 being scrapped and replaced with a more vague commitment to only keeping the remaining power stations running as long as it is safe.

July 18, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Ukraine has sold two French-donated 155mm Caesar howitzers to Russia

PANAGYURISHTE ($1=1.88 Bulgarian Levs) — French and Ukrainian [from Donbas] sources claim that in the hands of the Russian army, and more precisely in the production workshops of the Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod, there are two 155mm self-propelled howitzers Caesar, donated by France to Ukraine, as military aid against the Russian invasion on February 24 this year.

On June 20, French lawyer Régis de Castelnau wrote on his official Twitter account“Another success of Macron: 2 French Caesar guns were intercepted intact by the Russians. They are currently in the Uralvagonzavod factory in the Urals for study and possible reverse engineering. Thank you Macron, we are paying”.

A few days later, on June 23rd, the Russian company [Uralvagonzavod] responded to the French lawyer, through its official Telegram profile and citing Régis de Castelnau’s tweet, writing: “Hello, Mr. Regis. Please convey our thanks to President Macron for the donation of the self-propelled guns. This material is of course not tip-top… not like our MSTA-S! But nevertheless, it will be useful. Send more – we’ll take them down.”

Ukrainian sources from Donbas claim that they are also aware of this case, but not from the French lawyer or the Russian plant, but from French military sources, emphasizing that the online publication Donbas Insider does not cite who exactly the French military sources are.

France’s General Staff has denied reports of a French Caesar self-propelled howitzer being captured by Russian forces in Ukraine. “This information is false,” said the General Staff of France. “We categorically deny it. We’ve discussed this with our Ukrainian partners.” According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, no evidence was provided to support the claim.

The news of captured weapons would not surprise anyone in wartime. We have witnessed the Ukrainian and Russian military capturing various enemy weapon systems. But the same “unidentified” French sources claim, according to a Donbas Insider, that the two Caesar self-propelled howitzers were sold, through an intermediary, by Ukrainians to Russians. The price, which is being discussed in tight circles, is $120,000 each. recalls that the unit value of a Caesar self-propelled howitzer varies around the amount of 7 million euros.

A political analyst at says that the possibility that the two howitzers were sold to Moscow is evident in the tone and ending of French lawyer and politician Régis de Castelnau’s words. “It is very clear to him [the French lawyer] that during the war, in addition to prisoners of war, the adversaries acquire different foreign equipment. This is war, some die, others abandon their positions out of fear, and others profit from the war. The end of the comment “Thank you Macron, we are paying’ suggests that Régis de Castelnau believes that the two howitzers were not abandoned and therefore captured, but sold. The irony is too strong in this particular case to ignore this fact”, says Dr. Sebastian Levi, correspondent, and analyst of for the Middle East region.

Levy also says that he believes the two self-propelled howitzers were resold with the help of an intermediary, a military dealer. Levy, however, has no evidence for his claims but refers to his league reasoning.

However, sales are a fact

The feeling that corrupt Ukrainian servicemen are involved in the illegal arms trade to extract maximum profit is not from now, and it is not only about this case.

On June 2, revealed the sale of at least one FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile system on the dark web for $30,000. The seller is unclear, but according to the information posted on the darknet, the location [where the system will be shipped or picked up from] is Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

“Ukrops are selling Javelins on the darknet. The command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine resells equipment and weapons supplied by NATO to the Middle East and North Africa. Anyone with a TOR browser can buy this ATGM in the online store,” writes the pro-Russian Telegram channel ABS News.

Interpol knows

Interpol knows the illegal sale of arms by Ukrainians to Russians. The German online edition Overton-Magazin writes that concerns can be seen in the statements of Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol, “who fears that the weapons will be handed over to criminal organizations. However, this is happening with the complicity of Western governments, which are not willing to put in place safeguards and vetting mechanisms for the use of these weapons. In fact, even the US intelligence services do not know where the weapons delivered to Ukraine are going.”

According to the German publication, a part of the weapons delivered to Ukraine were actually seized, but another part was resold by Ukrainian holdings, which are in the hands of Russian businessmen. Overton-Magazin even points to a specific case that should be investigated for illegal trade, and that is the downed Ukrainian helicopters that tried to evacuate Ukrainian soldiers from Mariupol. The investigation so far indicates that the helicopters were shot down by American Stinger anti-aircraft missiles donated by the Americans.

Here’s what the German publication Overton-Magazin wrote“The Western narrative of the prophesied defeat of Russia and the victorious resistance of Ukraine is the main argument for promoting the deployment of weapons. It gives the impression that all that is needed is the ‘last little push’, to achieve victory. The reality, however, is not so romantic.”

………………………. And finally, let’s mention the most important fact that is known, but no one dares to talk about it: in order for such a sale to be carried out, the presence of strong corruption is necessary, especially among the military command and the lower officer ranks of the Ukrainian army.

July 7, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Swiss population keen for nuclear bunkers, -but it’s doubtful that they’d be any use anyway.

‘A large-scale nuclear war would however be catastrophic, and no state would be able to guard against the effects.’

Companies are ‘overwhelmed with enquiries’ for NUCLEAR BUNKERS in Switzerland and reporting shortage of materials following Ukraine invasion

  • Since 1960s, every Swiss municipality had to build nuclear bunkers for residents
  • Residents are now contacting specialist companies to build or renovate shelters 
  • The bunkers are being viewed in a new light since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


Companies that build and repair bomb shelters are being ‘overwhelmed with enquiries’ for nuclear fallout bunkers in Switzerland, as Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has reawakened interest in the secure facilities.

Residents in Switzerland, where nuclear bunkers have been mandatory for every household since the 1960s, are now contacting the companies to build or renovate their shelters to make sure they can be protected in the event of bombings or nuclear war.

Demand is so high for the concrete nuclear bunkers that specialist companies are now facing shortages in raw materials required to build them………………………………………………………………….

Switzerland’s vast network of nuclear bunkers have a range of other day-to-day uses, including as military barracks or as temporary accommodation for asylum seekers. But Swiss authorities require that they can be emptied and reverted back to nuclear shelters within five days. 

So far, Switzerland’s population has never been ordered down into the shelters, not even in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. 

Experts say the most likely scenario for needing to use them has always been a possible accident at one of Switzerland’s own nuclear power plants. 

But now the conflict raging in Ukraine has added a new, urgent layer to the national nuclear anxiety. 

With public concern growing, Swiss authorities have published overviews of the available shelter spots, and have urged households to always maintain a stock of food to last at least a week. ………………………………..

Experts caution though that the level of protection provided by the shelters in the case of actual nuclear weapons use would depend heavily on the intensity and proximity of the strikes. 

‘The shelters could offer the population a certain level of temporary protection against radioactive events,’ Swiss defence ministry spokesman Andreas Bucher said.

‘A large-scale nuclear war would however be catastrophic, and no state would be able to guard against the effects.’

April 26, 2022 Posted by | safety, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Switzerland plans to bury spent nuclear fuel deep underground in clay

 Straits Times SAINT-URSANNE, SWITZERLAND (AFP) 10 Apr 22, – Storing radioactive waste above ground is a risky business, but the Swiss think they have found the solution: Burying spent nuclear fuel deep underground in clay.

The Mont Terri international laboratory was built to study the effects of burying radioactive waste in clay which sits 300m below the surface near Saint-Ursanne in the northwestern Jura region.

The underground laboratory stretches across 1.2km of tunnels.

Niches along the way, each around 5m high, are filled with various storage simulations, containing small quantities of radioactive material monitored by thousands of sensors.

More than 170 experiments have been carried out to simulate the different phases of the process – positioning the waste, sealing off the tunnels, surveillance – and to reproduce every imaginable physical and chemical effect.

According to experts, it takes 200,000 years for the radioactivity in the most toxic waste to return to natural levels……..

Three prospective sites in the northeast, near the German border, have been identified to receive such radioactive waste.

Switzerland’s nuclear plant operators are expected to choose their preferred option in September.

The Swiss government is not due to make the final decision until 2029, but that is unlikely to be the last word as the issue would probably go to a referendum under Switzerland’s famous direct democracy system.

Despite the drawn-out process, environmental campaigners Greenpeace say Switzerland is moving too fast.

“There are a myriad of technical questions that have not been resolved,” Mr Florian Kasser, in charge of nuclear issues for the environmental activist group, told AFP.

For starters, he said, it remains to be seen if the systems in place can “guarantee there will be no radioactive leakage in 100, 1,000 or 100,000 years”.

“We are putting the cart before the horse, because with numerous questions still unresolved, we are already looking for sites” to host the storage facilities, he said.

Mr Kasser said Switzerland also needed to consider how it will signal where there sites are to ensure they are not forgotten, and that people many centuries from now remain aware of the dangers.

Swiss nuclear power plants have been pumping out radioactive waste for more than half a century.

Until now, it has been handled by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, or NAGRA, founded in 1972 by the plant operators in conjunction with the state.

For now, the waste is being stored in an “intermediary depot” in Wurenlingen, some 15km from the German border.

Switzerland hopes to join an elite club of countries closing in on deep geological storage……………….

Following the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima power station in Japan, Switzerland decided to phase out nuclear power gradually: Its reactors can continue for as long as they remain safe.

A projected 83,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste, including some high activity waste, will have to be buried.

This volume corresponds to a 60-year operating life of the Beznau, Gosgen and Leibstadt nuclear power plants, and the 47 years that Muhleberg was in operation before closing in 2019.

Filling in the underground nuclear waste tombs should begin by 2060…….

The monitoring period will span several decades before the site is sealed some time in the 22nd century.

April 11, 2022 Posted by | Switzerland, wastes | Leave a comment

Switzerland’s nuclear-war-readiness – bunkers for all

Nuclear bunkers for all: Switzerland is ready as international tensions mount , euronews, By Charlotte Lam  & AFP   03/04/2022
   Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reawakened interest in Switzerland’s concrete nuclear fallout shelters, built during the Cold War with enough space to shelter everyone in the country

Nuclear bunkers for all: Switzerland is ready as international tensions mount , euronews, By Charlotte Lam  & AFP   03/04/2022
   Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reawakened interest in Switzerland’s concrete nuclear fallout shelters, built during the Cold War with enough space to shelter everyone in the country.

Since the 1960s, every Swiss municipality has had to build nuclear bunkers for their residents – and they’re mandatory in large homes and residential buildings.

“I think this shelter system makes sense,” says Marie-Claude Noth-Ecoeur, who heads civil and military security services in the mountainous southern Wallis region.

“We remember the problems that occurred at Fukushima because there was a time when the Federal Chambers wanted to remove shelters but then Fukushima happened. We realise that there are nuclear power plants in Switzerland and in Europe. So yes, this is useful, it was designed for that and I think we must keep them, at least with what is happening in the world, we must keep them in a state of readiness.”

The shelters have become an integral part of the Swiss identity, on par with the country’s famous chocolate, banks and watches…………

The wealthy Alpine country has pledged that each and every resident will have a shelter space if needed. The country of 8.6 million people counts nearly nine million spaces across 365,000 private and public shelters.

But while there are more than enough spots at a national level, there are vast regional differences. Geneva is worst off, with only enough places for 75 per cent of its population.

Nicola Squillaci, head of Geneva’s civil protection and military affairs division, said the shelters were conceived to provide protection “, especially in the case of a bombing and a nuclear attack”…………..

Switzerland’s vast network of nuclear bunkers have a range of other day-to-day uses, including as military barracks or as temporary accommodation for asylum seekers.

But Swiss authorities require that they can be emptied and reverted back to nuclear shelters within five days.

April 4, 2022 Posted by | safety, Switzerland, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scrutiny on Switzerland’s nuclear power industry- it gets uranium from Russia

Use of Russian uranium for Swiss nuclear power under scrutiny,   Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom helps fuel two nuclear power plants in Switzerland. That commercial link is now under scrutiny as the Western world puts financial pressure on Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine. Swiss Info March 31, 2022 

Swiss electricity company Axpo purchases fuel from Rosatom to operate the Beznau and Leibstadt nuclear power plants in canton Aargau.

In a statement published on Thursday, the environmental NGO Greenpeace urged the authorities of seven Swiss cantons – which own Axpo – to stop buying uranium from Rosatom.

This commercial relationship, the NGO argued, helps to finance Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. Competitor company Alpiq, which runs the Gösgen nuclear site, stopped sourcing from Russia in 2016.

…………………………………..  Of Switzerland’s four nuclear reactors, only Gösgen, operated by the company Alpiq, does not buy Russian uranium. Alpiq said this decision was taken in 2016 due to considerations about environmental compatibility and supply chain transparency………..

By paying for Russian uranium – Switzerland could also indirectly help finance Russia’s military apparatus. SRF points that Rosatom is the manufacturer of Russia’s warheads and now controls the operation of various Ukrainian nuclear power plants, such as at Zaporizhia, seized after fighting on March 4.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Switzerland, Uranium | Leave a comment

City of Geneva calls for the closure of French nuclear station in Bugey

Boursorama 27th April 2021, Nuclear: the city of Geneva calls for the closure of the French power plant
in Bugey. Located about 70 kilometers as the crow flies from Geneva, it is
accused by the cantonal and municipal authorities of Geneva of causing
serious danger to the population because of its obsolescence.

April 29, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics international, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Women in government – the key to getting rid of nuclear power

Nuclear withdrawal was thanks to women, says former energy minister,–says-former-energy-minister/46423854  5 Mar 21, Having four women in Switzerland’s seven-person government played a key role in the decision to phase out nuclear energy ten years ago, according to Doris Leuthard, who was energy minister at the time of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on March 11, 2011.

The three other female cabinet ministers at the time were Micheline Calmy-Rey and Simonetta Sommaruga from the left-wing Social Democratic Party and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf from the centre-right Conservative Democratic Party.Leuthard, from the centre-right Christian Democratic Party, admitted that she didn’t immediately realise the scale of the disaster at Fukushima.

“My first reaction was to say that that’s very far away from us, in Japan, in a country that deals seriously and professionally with events of this kind. I didn’t realise right away that it was a major disaster,” she told Le Temps.

In an interviewExternal link with Swiss newspaper Le Temps on Thursday, Leuthard said she would have had a hard time convincing men on the political right to abandon nuclear power.

“I think women are generally more sensitive to the environment and to the risks to which the population is exposed. When safety is at stake, they are willing to look at new solutions, even if it means paying a little more. They were more quickly convinced that we could opt for a new energy mix,” said Leuthard, who stepped down from the government at the end of 2018.

Only gradually did it become clear how serious the disaster was and that Switzerland had to act. On March 14 the government imposed a moratorium on nuclear projects.

“It was a decision that had to be taken quickly because, at the time, we intended to replace the three oldest [nuclear] plants with a modern, new-generation facility. We had to carry out a new risk analysis and see whether we could maintain the nuclear option in our energy policy. We informed the owners of the Swiss power plants, who had submitted applications to build this new-generation facility. It was a difficult moment, as our decision could cause them significant damage. […] I must admit that I didn’t sleep very well for two nights.”

In the end Switzerland did decide in 2011 to phase out nuclear power, which supplies about a third of the country’s electricity production.

In 2017 Swiss voters endorsed a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy by banning new nuclear power plants and reducing energy consumption.

In December 2019 the 47-year-old Mühleberg nuclear power plant near Bern was permanently switched off – the first of five Swiss nuclear power reactors to be decommissioned. The event was considered so important that viewers could follow the progress live on Swiss television.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Switzerland, Women | Leave a comment

Swiss nuclear power station shut down, due to a technical problem

Technical problem shuts down Swiss nuclear power station, SwissInfoCh, 29 Dec 19, The Leibstadt nuclear power station in northern Switzerland has been disconnected from the power grid and shut down because of a technical fault.

Once the cause has been clarified, the plant will be put back into operation as soon as possible, the operator said. It is not clear when that will be. ……

Transducers replaced 

Two reactor shutdowns had already occurred at Leibstadt in April and May 2019. Both had the same cause. According to ENSI a malfunctioning transducer led to incorrect values in a channel of the main steam pressure measuring system. These triggered a rapid closure of the turbine inlet valves.

……Saturday’s shutdown comes a week after the 47-year-old Mühleberg nuclear power plant near Bern was permanently switched off. It was the first Swiss nuclear power reactor to be decommissioned.

December 30, 2019 Posted by | safety, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Switzerland to shut down uneconomic Mühleberg nuclear reactor

December 19, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Switzerland’s old Beznau nuclear power plant

October 17, 2019 Posted by | safety, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Court orders Swiss authorities to publish arms export data

Court orders Swiss authorities to publish arms export data APRIL 24, 2019 Switzerland’s highest court has ruled that the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) must give a Swiss journalist company data on arms exports.

The Federal Court rejected an appeal by SECO which had refused to transfer detailed information to a journalist from the WOZ newspaper on companies that had filed arms exports requests in 2014.

In a decision published on Wednesdayexternal link, the court backed an earlier ruling by the Federal Administrative Court on behalf of the WOZ journalist, who had filed a freedom of information request.

Last March, the Federal Administrative Court had ruled in favour of the journalist, stating that it was public interest to ensure greater transparency and information on arms exports and that the media played an important role in holding the authorities to account in this regard.

SECO had argued that, in accordance with the law on war materiel, only the parliamentary oversight committee should be sent the details on Swiss arms exports. It said that publishing details on arms exports could also displease importing countries.

However, the Federal Court said publishing such information was not a threat for Switzerland’s interests. If there is no business secret involved, SECO must publish the firms’ names.

Hot topic

Rules governing arms exports and calls for greater transparency remain a hot topic in Switzerland. In 2008 the government tightened rules on arms exports; in 2014 it relaxed them on behalf of parliament.

In October 2018 the government abandoned plans to ease Swiss weapons exports following a public outcry.

In December 2018 campaigners started collecting signatures for a people’s initiative to prevent the Swiss government from relaxing rules for exporting arms to conflict-ridden states.

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Legal, media, Switzerland | Leave a comment