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Swiss vote to withdraw country from use of nuclear power

FILE - In this March 5, 2014 file picture Greenpeace activists hang banners saying "The End", at a building of the Nuclear power plant Beznau near Doettingen, Switzerland. Swiss voters are supporting a referendum to withdraw the country from nuclear power in favor of renewable energy. A projection from Sunday's May 21, 2017 referendum shows a majority of cantons (states) voted for the plan. Under Switzerland's direct democracy system, initiatives need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass. The projection for SRF public television showed 58 percent of voters in favor and 42 percent against the proposal. (Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP,file)

BERLIN (AP) — Swiss voters are supporting a referendum to withdraw the country from nuclear power in favor of renewable energy.

A projection from Sunday’s referendum shows a majority of cantons (states) voted for the plan. Under Switzerland’s direct democracy system, initiatives need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass.

The projection for SRF public television showed 58 percent of voters in favor and 42 percent against the proposal.

The Swiss government wants to ban the construction of new nuclear power plants and decommission the country’s five existing ones at the end of their technically safe operating lives.

The plan would also boost renewable energies such as water and wind and make cars and electronic devices more energy efficient.

Opponents warned the initiative would significantly increase electricity bills.

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