Switzerland shuts down a 47-year-old nuclear power plant

Switzerland shuts down a 47-year-old nuclear power plant

Swiss authorities shut down the Mühleberg nuclear power plant, December 20. It is the largest nuclear power plant ever closed in Switzerland since the country decided in 2011 to gradually stop using nuclear energy in the long run.

The Mühleberg NPP ceases to produce energy after 47 years of operation, and four other plants continue to operate.

In the wake of the nuclear disaster, which occurred in 2011 at the Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant, Switzerland decided not to build new nuclear reactors. Old NPPs were allowed to continue operating, under strict safety conditions.

Mühleberg NPP accounts for a quarter of BKW’s electricity production, but it only accounts for 5% of national electricity requirements. The energy shortage is to be compensated for by importing from abroad or by increasing production at other power plants.

During its working lifetime, the plant either malfunctioned or were closed several times, and cracks were found in the reactor pressure vessels. While officials in the nuclear energy sector emphasized that these incidents did not pose a threat to the public, opponents of the use of nuclear energy continued to protest throughout this period.

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