Swiss environmental groups want Beznau nuclear plant shut

Feb 23, 2012
Switzerland's oldest nuclear power plant Beznau is seen near Doettingen, northern Switzerland in 2011. Beznau will soon boast the "dubious record" of being the oldest nuclear plant in the world and should be shut down, a group of environmental organisations said Thursday.

Switzerland's Beznau nuclear plant will soon boast the "dubious record" of being the oldest nuclear plant in the world and should be shut down, a group of environmental organisations said Thursday.

The 15 organisations which include WWF Switzerland, , Fokus Anti-Atom and various chapters of the Green Party, noted that Oldbury in England, inaugurated in 1967, will shut down next week.

They said Beznau should also be shut down.

"Many show that Beznau has run its course," said the organizations in a joint statement about the that began operating in 1969.

They said there are cracks in the mantle of the reactor and in the steel containment shell, something strongly denied by Axpo, the energy company that operates Beznau.

"As a precaution the lid of the reactor is to be changed, but there is no crack," said an Axpo spokeswoman.

Beznau is scheduled for decommissioning in 2019 after 50 years of operation.

Last September, the Swiss Parliament approved a nuclear phase-out for the country's five nuclear reactors, due to be decommissioned by 2034.

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