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Mühleberg ordered to maintain safety levels

Mühleberg – one of Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants – is being taken off the grid in 2019 Keystone

The operators of the Mühleberg power plant outside Bern have been told they must continue to meet the same long-term standards as any other nuclear plant, despite having a shut-down date of 2019.

The Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) said on Thursday that Swiss energy company BKW would still have to invest in safety, such as measures to stabilise the core reactor wall and an earthquake- and flood-resistant system of cooling combustible fuel elements, “until the plant’s final day”.

On October 30, BKW said it would take Mühleberg – one of Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants – off the grid in 2019, having taken into account all the technical, economic, regulatory and political factors.

The company said the decision to shut down the plant would allow them to focus on hydro-electric and wind energy within Switzerland and abroad, as well as investments in innovative products and services.

Environmental groups and the Green Party have consistently demanded the site to be closed down immediately over safety concerns. WWF Switzerland said in October it was a “scandal” that the plant was still running.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR