Käthi Furrer, co-president of KLAR! Switzerland

""Our opposition is forcing to truly find the best solutions"

Käthi Furrer is co-president of KLAR! Switzerland (in English: clear). The organisation is critical of nuclear energy and has been fighting against Nagra's activities in the Zürcher Weinland in the canton of Zurich since 1993.

"We're afraid that we will one day no longer have the Weinland (a wine-producing region) but rather a nuclear-waste land. As a principle and teacher in Dachsen, a neighbouring village of Benken, I think about the future of the children if Nagra's plans are one day implemented. Unlike most of the residents in our area, I was always against nuclear energy. And even though this region has long been discussed in the context of a final disposal site, the residents elect politicians who have predominantly supported the use of nuclear energy and continue to support it. In other words, the population is not in agreement and doesn't pull together to represent the common interests against Nagra. KLAR! Switzerland is neither fundamentally opposed nor do we refuse to talk. Opposition to the planned repository is limited to a small but active group. I had hoped that things would change a bit with the energy transition because no matter whether you're for or against nuclear energy, we can't simply leave radioactive waste to future generations. It has to be safely stored. Based on this, we have something to discuss with proponents of nuclear energy. But since parliament watered down the nuclear energy phase-out and an end is no longer in sight, the situation has changed. Drawing a line under nuclear energy is a prerequisite for us to be able to engage in constructive discussions about the issue of final disposal. What also has to come out: safety has the utmost priority, not money. And by the way, it's not just the people in the immediate vicinity who would be affected by a repository. Construction and then the disposal activities would affect a much larger region: Schaffhausen, Winterthur and the German border are all located close by. Nevertheless, awareness of the future repository is, in my opinion, very limited among the population and media in the surrounding areas. Just a few kilometres away, many people feel as though they aren't affected by this, even though this is no distance at all in the event of an accident involving radioactivity. Many also don't deal with this subject because, for now at least, it seems to be far in the future. But once the deep repository is built, the concerns will be too late. I'm convinced that the critical involvement of KLAR! Switzerland and other groups critical of nuclear energy is improving the quality of the process. Our opposition is forcing Nagra to truly find the best solutions."

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