Switzerland plans to use its nuclear plants longer than previously expected in face of possible electricity shortages, Bloomberg reported. In 2017 Switzerland had decided to phase out nuclear power but without setting a date. The 372 MWe Mühleberg NPP was closed in 2019 and is undergoing decommissioning. Its four remaining nuclear plants are the two-unit Beznau NPP (730 MWe), the single unit 985 MWe Gösgen NPP and the single unit 1,165 MWe Leibstadt NPP.

Bloomberg cited a spokesperson for the Federal Office of Energy as noting that Swiss NPPs are allowed run for as long as they can be operated safely. Plant Operators Axpo Holding AG and Alpiq Holding AG have already boosted the planned lifespan for their plants to 60 years from a previous target of 50, spokespeople for the companies told Bloomberg. Alpiq is studying the impacts of a further extension to as many as 80 years on safety, investments and profitability, according to a company spokesman.

A survey of the companies has shown that the operating life of NPPs beyond 60 years is economically feasible without financial support from the government, the Federal Office of Energy spokesperson told Bloomberg, adding that this would see them operate until around 2040.

Image: Leibstadt nuclear power plant