Swiss nuclear reactor back up after closure over defect

Nov 22, 2012
A reactor at the Benzau nuclear power plant in Switzerland, pictured here in 2011, which automatically shut down due to a defect, was brought back online Thursday evening, the operator said.

A reactor at a Swiss nuclear plant that automatically shut down due to a defect was brought back online Thursday evening, the operator said.

"After an interruption of around 24 hours, Block 2 of the Beznau will start producing electricity again tonight," operator Axpo said in a statement.

It explained that "a defective safety switch in the non-nuclear part of the plant" had caused the automatic shut-down late Wednesday.

The erroneous triggering of the switch had halted the flow of water into the steam generator, which had caused the reactor to shut down, it explained.

"The fault was rectified by activating an identical reserve switch," it said, stressing that an inspection showed that all the components affected by the defect were now functioning well.

"The Swiss Federal Inspectorate (ENSI) approved the restart of Block 2," Axpo said.

Switzerland reacted swiftly to the in Fukushima last year, with parliament deciding to phase out nuclear energy.

Under current plans the country's five reactors will be put out of action by 2034.

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