Swiss regulator approves Muehleberg upgrades

29 January 2015

The Swiss nuclear regulator has approved BKW's plans to upgrade the Muehleberg nuclear plant to support operations for the next five years.

Muehleberg is a 390MW boiling water reactor, which started commercial operation in November 1972. BWK announced in late 2013 that the reactor, which was previously due to close after fifty years of operation, would shut in 2019.

The ENSI report, released 27 January, is based on a revised maintenance plan that BKW submitted to the regulator last summer.

The measures to be taken include improvements to the emergency cooling pumps, which are currently below reactor level; installing a new emergency cooling water system; and reinforcing the emergency cooling system for the spent fuel pools.

ENSI has also requested that new non-destructive testing of the core shroud should be performed by a qualified testing system on an annual basis.

BKW has committed to meeting the regulator's requirements.

"The measures approved by the ENSI will further increase the safety margin and robustness of systems for the remaining five years of operation," BKW said.

BKW plans to start implementing the upgrades immediately. The cost of the work is expected to be around CHF15 million ($16.8 million), it said.

Photo: Muehleberg nuclear plant

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