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Switzerland Shuts Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant

The 47-year-old Mühleberg nuclear power plant, near Bern, was permanently switched off. This is the first of five Swiss nuclear power reactor to be decommissioned. The Mühleberg nuclear power station was officially taken offline at 12.30pm, when the last control rod was removed from between the fuel elements. This stopped the chain reaction and deactivated the reactor. The process took three seconds.

Situated around 15 kilometres from the Swiss capital Bern, the reactor has been in service since 1972 and provided 5% of the electricity used in Switzerland. BKW, the operator of Mühleberg plant, decided to close the plant in 2013 for business reasons. The site had generated enough electricity to cover the energy consumption of Bern for more than 100 years.

The plant will be completely decommissioned by 200 people over a 15-year period, starting on January 6, 2020. The dismantling and destruction of equipment used for producing electricity, such as turbines, generators and condensers, will continue until October 2020. The central building will then be prepared for the dismantling, decontamination and packaging of material.