KKB: unit 1 taken off grid for fuel element replacement

16.05.2023 - Nuclear Power Plant (KKB) off grid for scheduled replacement of fuel elements. After 318 days of operation the plant will now be inactive for around two weeks.

As unit 1 of Beznau nuclear power plant powers down it brings to a close a production cycle that began on 1 July 2022. During this time, unit 1 produced around 2.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This equates to the average annual consumption of 620,000 four-person households.

During the two-week shutdown, KKB specialists will replace 16 of a total of 121 fuel elements in the reactor core. They will also carry out recurrent checks and system tests. Around 150 external experts will assist the 500 or so members of staff at KKB.

As the plant powers down, steam will be visible above the turbine hall (non-nuclear part of the plant). There is no danger to people or the environment. The fuel element replacement is overseen by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI).

The Beznau nuclear power plant produces around 6 terawatt hours of electricity, safely and reliably, every year – which meets about one tenth of Switzerland’s power requirements. The two power plant units are taken off grid separately in spring/summer for fuel element replacement or revision. They then resume their contribution to Switzerland’s security of supply, which is particularly vital in the winter months.

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