American experts claim
“Swiss nuclear power plants last 80 years!”
In the midst of an energy crisis, nuclear power plants are suddenly becoming socially acceptable again. Christine Svenicki, one of the most famous researchers in the field, praises Swiss infrastructure.
The Gösgen nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1979.
The former head of the US nuclear regulator, Christine Svenicki, 56, is recommending longer terms for Swiss nuclear power plants. She considers that a service life of up to 80 years is feasible. In this way, time can be bridged until new core technologies become available, Svinicki says in an interview with “NZZ am Sonntag”. “Your nuclear power plants are almost in their youthful state,” says the expert.
In the United States, many of these plants are still running after they were inspected by regulatory authorities. “We noticed in our investigations that the owners maintained the systems well and updated a lot of technology. And the building materials aged well,” says the former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Agency, which was replaced in 2021.
“Belong to the latest generation”
“We know the factories in detail because the license renewal process was rigorous. So I can say with confidence: Such long operating periods are possible for nuclear power plants – as well as for plants in Switzerland,” she tells NZZ am Sonntag.
Especially at the Gösgen and Leibstadt nuclear power plants. Gösgen was operated in 1979, in Leibstadt in 1984. This is a huge advantage. “In the United States, these power plants will belong to our latest generation,” she says in an interview. For this reason at least, she is convinced that Swiss nuclear power plants will be able to operate for up to 80 years.
The nuclear power plant of the future
In America, the operating periods of nuclear power plants will be extended again and again, Svenicki continued. For decades there were practically no new plants. Core technology won’t be a taboo in the future either. exactly the contrary. 70 companies, including many start-ups, will work on nuclear power plants in the future.
In this country, nuclear power plants can operate as long as they are safe. But in 2016, people said yes to the ban on building new factories. Then experts, politicians, and operators assumed that the current systems would shut down after 50 years. Most nuclear reactors are designed to last 40 years. The focus is now on a 60-year runtime. (pbe)
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