Jürg Rasi, Farmer, Switzerland

"No trust "

Jürg Rasi is a farmer and lives with his family where a final disposal site could one day be built. This has made him and his wife political, and he is today against nuclear energy.

"It seems to me that our democracy is reaching its limits with a technology such as nuclear energy – and vice versa. Until recently, I and my wife Rachel didn't oppose nuclear energy, and we certainly didn't support left-wing or green groups. This changed when I suddenly learned that more than six hectares of our land could be used as a final disposal site in the future. We weren't even informed about this in person. Sure, these are only initial plans, but they would have huge consequences for us if implemented. We're aware of the contradictory nature of our conversion and accept criticism of this behaviour. It's true that we never gave nuclear energy much thought, but the accident in Fukushima made us realise what's at stake. Since then we've come to oppose nuclear energy, but we're also disappointed because of the final disposal plans. Responsibility shouldn't be in the hands of a private company, namely Nagra, which is dependent on the nuclear energy industry. Nagra took funds that were earmarked for nuclear waste disposal and misused them for propaganda and to support organisations sympathetic to its cause, such as Forum Vera. It receives 200,000 francs per year. No one understands what Nagra does with this money, and I fear that it will do the same to scientific studies. Nagra talks about this as the best solution, just like it did with Wellenberg. This site is now the worst place, and Nagra removed it from the site selection process. The Zürcher Weinland in the canton of Zurich is at most the best of all worst sites for a deep repository. There's groundwater here, and we're suspicious when people claim that it won't be affected. The municipalities of Marthalen, Trüllikon, Benken and Rheinau are also affected, and scepticism is growing there, too. Together with other farmers, we've decided to demonstrate against Nagra's plans and I hung a poster up on my property. If we can't prevent the final disposal site, we at least want to have a say in the exact location of the above-ground facilities. We farmers are also calling for investment security: if we have to relinquish our farms for a geological repository or are hurt economically because of the bias people have against a final disposal site, no one is guaranteeing the repayment of the investments that had to be made in advance or the losses incurred. Also not regulated is what would happen in the event of an accident where radiation is emitted. So something like in Fukushima. We need to plan ahead, otherwise we live with considerable insecurity and feel like the wool is being pulled over our eyes. There are many things that we have to fight against in the coming years. But the main problem: we don't have any trust in Nagra."

Read more:

A struggle over trust