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131 nuclear power plants already shut down

Written by  Martin Arnold

In March 2016, the Swiss Energy Foundation organised a conference in Zurich on the subject of the nuclear phase-out.

Mycle Schneider, author of the annual status report on nuclear energy, Beat Bechtold, director of the Nuclear Forum Switzerland, Horst Michael Prasser, professor of nuclear energy systems at the ETH Zurich, and the former environment minister Jürgen Tritten held nothing back at a panel discussion. Horst Michael Prasser is decisively in favour of constructing new plants, which he also considers safer. This of course raises the question of whether nuclear power plants are profitable. During his research, Mycle Schneider came across a new phenomenon: last year, seven reactors in the US were no longer connected to the grid despite new upgrades having been made and a lot of money having been invested. "Simply because they are no longer competitive." The controversial question: how many nuclear power plants even supply energy at this time? Many nuclear power plants show up in the statistics as operational, but they are not actually supplying any power. In any case, 131 nuclear power plants worldwide have officially been shut down, be it for reasons of safety, profitability or other causes. Mycle Schneider drew a gloomy picture of the state of the nuclear energy industry. Even in China, no more new nuclear power projects have been approved since the accident in Fukushima. Says Schneider: "When 500 out of 4,000 employees are let go at the reprocessing plant at La Hague, the name of the plutonium factory in France, then I have to ask myself: were they just twiddling their thumbs before or are they now skimping on safety wherever possible?"

Read more:

Horst-Michael Prasser, professor of nuclear energy systems, Zurich: „Don’t be afraid of nuclear energy.“

Jürgen Trittin, Member of the Lower House of the German Parliament: „Deliberate disregard of their own opportunities.“