Nuclear plants must resist extreme weather

Switzerland's nuclear power plants must prove they can withstand extreme weather conditions Keystone

Switzerland’s nuclear power plants have until the end of 2013 to demonstrate to the country’s safety watchdog that they are equipped to withstand weather conditions such as tornados, high winds, heavy snowfall and extreme temperatures.

This content was published on July 6, 2012 minutes

The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) said on Friday it had written to the operators of the country’s five nuclear power facilities to outline the conditions for meeting the requirements.

The onus on operators to demonstrate that their plants can resist extreme weather was one of the outstanding issues highlighted by the European Union stress tests carried out in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.

Swiss nuclear power plants were able to demonstrate “high safety margins and strong robustness”. The Swiss facilities were also praised for having seven levels of security of energy supply.

However, events such as drought, freezing rain, ice, forest fires and heavy rainfall at nuclear sites must still be considered, ENSI said in a statement on its website.

Operators have until the end of this year to present a timetable for the weather safety demonstrations.

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