Nuclear power phase-out will cost billions

Lausanne – Acceptance of the nuclear power phase-out initiative will cause Alpiq economic damage in the region of CHF 2.5 billion. If the nuclear power phase-out initiative is rejected, the status quo would continue, in which production costs exceed market prices and nuclear power plants cannot be operated competitively.

Alpiq has calculated all the variants of a nuclear power phase-out from a business perspective. A voluntary early shut-down is not economically feasible for the company. The calculations show that within the current system, the long-term continuing operation is the least economically damaging variant for Alpiq, which has interests in the two partner nuclear power plants Gösgen-Däniken AG (40 %) and Leibstadt AG (32.4 %).

Acceptance of the nuclear power phase-out initiative leads to a loss of billions

In accordance with applicable law, the nuclear power plants Gösgen (commissioned 1979) and Leibstadt (1984) both have unlimited operating licences. If they are shut down after 45 years, they will not have reached their technical useful life. If the nuclear power phase-out initiative is accepted, Gösgen has to be shut down in 2024 and Leibstadt in 2029. This will cause economic damage in the region of around CHF 2.5 billion, for which compensation has to be paid. The nature and amount of compensation have to be reviewed when the time comes.

A premature shut-down means that revenues of long-term continuing operation will be lost, while most of the total costs until decommissioning are fixed and will be incurred regardless of the useful life. Investments that have already been made or which are still needed could not be amortised over the remaining useful life and payments into the fund for the financing of the shut-down and disposal will increase considerably due to the shorter useful life.

Rejection of the initiative does not solve the core problem of nuclear power plants

If the nuclear power phase-out is rejected, the status quo would continue, in which the production costs exceed market prices and nuclear power plants cannot be operated competitively. This is why stable framework conditions are needed in order to enable the viability of Switzerland's nuclear power plants. This is in the best interest of the economy as a whole and will facilitate the implementation of the Energy Strategy 2050.