* Two women taken to hospital with minor injuries
* Swiss suspended nuclear power approvals over Japan
* Greenpeace holds anti-nuclear rally in Olten
(Adds background, details, Greenpeace protest)
By Christian Hartmann
OLTEN, Switzerland, March 31 Two people were
injured when a parcel bomb exploded in the offices of the Swiss
nuclear lobby on Thursday, police said.
The two female employees of Swissnuclear were taken to
hospital with superficial burns and hearing damage, a police
spokesman said, adding police did not yet know who had sent the
Police cordoned off the office of Swissnuclear on the fourth
floor of a building in the northern town of Olten. The police
spokesman said they had forensic specialists on the ground.
Earlier this month, Switzerland suspended the approvals
process for three new nuclear power stations so that safety
standards could be reviewed after Japan's earthquake and tsunami
damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant. [ID:nLDE72D1EJ]
Swissnuclear says it works to promote the safe and efficient
use of nuclear power and represents Swiss utilities Alpiq
(ALPH.S), Axpo, BKW BKWN.S, CKW and EGL, which run the nuclear
plants that produce about 40 percent of Swiss electricity.
Olten is also home to the headquarters of Alpiq, where about
50 Greenpeace protestors held a demonstration on Thursday
calling for the company to withdraw its application to build a
new nuclear plant.
A police spokesman said they were examining whether there
was any connection between the explosion and the demonstration.
Greenpeace said it had nothing to do with the attack. "We
are shocked that such action can be used for political purposes.
Greenpeace is committed to non-violent protest," said energy
campaigner Florian Kasser.
The centre-left Social Democrats and the Greens are calling
for Switzerland to abandon nuclear power after the Japan
disaster but Energy Minister Doris Leuthard has cautioned
against a hasty decision, warning that would mean more gas power
stations which would lead to a rise in carbon emissions.
In 1990, Swiss voters backed a 10-year moratorium on the
building of nuclear power plants but they rejected extending the
freeze in 2003, opening the way for the government to consider
new plants to replace those that need retiring.
Last month, voters narrowly approved the building of a new
plant in Muehleberg to replace the old one there, 20 percent
owned by Germany's E.ON (EONGn.DE).
(Additional reporting by Sven Egenter in Zurich, writing by
Emma Thomasson; Editing by Janet Lawrence)