Beznau nuclear power plant: Unit 2 back on the grid after overhaul – recommissioning of unit 1 delayed

28.09.2017 - Beznau nuclear power plant has completed its overhaul of unit 2, which it brought back onto the grid last night following approval from the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI). However, the recommissioning of unit 1 has been delayed after further material inspections were requested by ENSI.

Unit 2 was overhauled on schedule, with a focus on extensive periodic testing and inspection work and on renewing plant components in the non-nuclear part of the block. Integral system tests were also carried out, while 16 of the 121 fuel rods were replaced with new ones and inserted into the reactor core in order to get the block up and running for the forthcoming production cycle.

As part of restarting unit 2, Beznau nuclear power plant will be subjecting it to various safety tests and will gradually resume operations in stages. The unit is likely to be running at full capacity again in around two days. At times, observers will be able to see steam being released from the non-nuclear part of the power plant as it restarts. This does not pose any threat either to people or the environment.

The recommissioning of unit 1 still faces delays, however, due to further extensive material inspections required by ENSI before it can grant its approval to restart the plant. Axpo expects unit 1 to ready to return to service in late February 2018.

Despite this latest delay, Axpo firmly believes that, in terms of safety, there is no reason why the plant cannot continue operating – a point which all of the investigations and analyses carried out thus far have repeatedly confirmed.

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