Bern (ots) - Since it was first commissioned in early November 1972, Mühleberg nuclear power plant (KKM), owned by BKW AG, has produced more than 108 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity reliably and cost-effectively. This corresponds to almost twice the volume of electricity consumed annually by the whole of Switzerland. Successful operation coupled with the plant's high technical standard make an important contribution to the safe and environmentally friendly supply of energy across north-west Switzerland. Additional back-fitting measures planned by BKW will further increase plant safety with a view to the facility's long-term operation.
KKM began commercial operation on November 6, 1972. With a net nominal capacity of 355 MW, the boiling water reactor is a base load thermal power plant that produces electricity round the clock. It is BKW's biggest production plant, covering nearly 40% of the power requirement in the area supplied by BKW.
The plant's high availability of, on average, 90% is high by international standards and reflects its reliability and operating safety, as well as attesting to the expertise of its more than 300 staff. This was recently confirmed by the EU Stress Test and an international mission performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
If security of supply in north-west Switzerland is to be maintained, it is important that KKM remain connected to the grid for as long as the plant is able to produce electricity safely and cost-effectively. The importance of KKM for power supply became clear during Hurricane Lothar in 1999. Without KKM, at least 700,000 people would have been without electricity in north-west Switzerland instead of the 300,000 who suffered a power failure at that time. Continued operation of the plant is also a major factor in ensuring the proper transition to power supply through renewable energy.
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