Beznau and Gösgen – when there is a flood, nuclear power plants are at risk of erosion

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The focus has not only been on protecting Swiss nuclear power plants against extreme floods since this week. Now the federal government is demanding an in-depth examination.

  • A report warns that in the event of extreme flooding, the site of the two Gösgen and Beznau nuclear power plants would be flooded over a meter deep.

  • Now the federal government is demanding an in-depth examination.

  • Greens boss Balthasar Glättli calls a precautionary shutdown of the nuclear power plant.

The protection of Swiss nuclear power plants against extreme floods has not just been in focus since this week, since the floods in 2005 and after the Fukushima disaster. The almost 2000-page report “Extreme floods on the Aare” has been available since this spring. It shows: In the event of an extreme flood, which statistically occurs every 100,000 years, the site of the two nuclear power plants in Gösgen and Beznau would be flooded over a meter deep become.

The “SonntagsZeitung” cites a previously neglected part of the study, which deals in detail with the erosion processes at the Beznau and Gösgen nuclear power plants during floods. And this paints a threatening picture. The main problem with Beznau lies in the underground of the power plant. The Expertinnon and experts assume that it is not a solid, but rather loose material. Solid rock is only encountered from a depth of 10 to 20 meters.

The embankments along the Beznau island are secured. «A failure of the bank protection as a result of However, undercutting cannot be ruled out, ”says the Exar report. The problem apparently also exists at the Gösgen nuclear power plant, where the lack of bank protection can trigger side erosion processes and lead to undercutting of the power plant area.

The Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (Ensi) is alarmed. Since the report was published, it has required operators to carry out in-depth tests on the impending danger ofn Floods and erosion, as it reports on request. “We have started a process in which the operators are asked to revise their safety analyzes on the basis of the Exar study,” says Thomas Thöni from Ensi «Sunday newspaper» firmly. Particular attention is paid to bank erosion.

«For this, in-depth site-specific investigations are necessary. These are already in progress, ”says Thöni. Greens boss Balthasar Glättli calls on the Zmanagement a precautionary shutdown of the nuclear power plant: “The risk they pose is too high,” says Glättli.

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(chk)

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