'Green energy' Project gives Swiss the Shakes
Swiss prosecutors are investigating a green energy project after it was revealed that it caused earthquakes.
The inquiry was launched after experts confirmed that the Deep Heat Mining project to exploit geothermal energy near the north-west border city of Basel had caused tremors measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale.
The project involved injecting large quantities of pressurised water into three-mile-deep boreholes, where underground temperatures reach 200C. The super-heated water is circulated back to the surface where it is used to produce steam and drive a turbine to generate electricity.
But Geopower Basel, the company behind the scheme, was forced to stop pumping water into the hot rock layer following a series of powerful earthquakes, which were felt up to 10 miles away.
Jean Ueberschlag, the mayor of nearby Saint Louis in France, wrote to the Swiss authorities demanding a halt to the experiment. He said: "You don't have the right to play with the safety of our populations."