Switzerland shuts down 47-year-old nuclear power plant

U.S. & World

Exterior view of the Muehleberg nuclear power plant in Muehleberg, Switzerland, Friday, 20 Dec. 2019. Switzerland is shutting down one of its oldest nuclear power plants after 47 years of operation. The Muehleberg Nuclear Power Plant near the capital Bern is being taken off the grid shortly after noon Friday. (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Switzerland on Friday shut down one of its oldest nuclear power plants, part of a plan to end the domestic production of atomic energy before the middle of the century.

Operator BKW took the Muehleberg Nuclear Power Plant, located 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital Bern, off the grid shortly after midday in a ceremony broadcast live by Switzerland’s main public TV station.

BKW, which is majority owned by the canton (state) of Bern, said it plans to begin dismantling the plant in January, a process that will take until 2034. Decommissioning and deposing of radioactive remains is estimated to cost 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.1 billion).

Muehleberg is the smallest of Switzerland’s four remaining nuclear power plants. It began operation in 1972.

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, Switzerland decided to gradually phase out nuclear power.

Switzerland is home to the world’s oldest still-operating nuclear power plant, Beznau, which will be shut down toward the end of 2029.

The remaining two nuclear plants, Goesgen and Leibstadt, will be shuttered around 2040 and 2045 respectively.

Switzerland plans to significantly increase the production of renewable energy from solar and wind over the coming decades to meet its power needs. As part of the European grid, Switzerland also buys electricity from neighboring countries such as France, which has numerous nuclear power plants.

Earlier this week, campaigners submitted enough signatures to force a referendum on incorporating the goal of making Switzerland ‘climate neutral’ by 2050 in the country’s constitution. Doing so would require ending virtually all burning of fossil fuels by mid-century.


Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://www.apnews.com/Climate

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.