External emergency store now ready
Operators of nuclear power plants in Switzerland have met the ENSI deadline of 1 June 2011 for the creation of an external store for emergency equipment. ENSI inspectors consider that the store meets its requirements.
On 1 June 2011, the operators of Swiss nuclear power plants established a common external store for emergency equipment at a former munitions depot of the Swiss Army at Reitnau in Aargau. ENSI had ordered operators to set up the store following the Fukushima accident (see media release of 18 March 2011). This accident has shown that nuclear power plants need speedy access to additional pumps, emergency generators, tubing, fuel and other equipment following a serious external event.
As a result, ENSI also insisted that the emergency equipment should be transportable by helicopter. The equipment at Reitnau is, therefore transportable by air and could be flown quickly to any required location in a Swiss Army Super Puma. The equipment would be used if the emergency diesel supply at a nuclear power plant failed or if water from rivers could not be used for emergency cooling.
The store is situated at an altitude that is secure from flooding and is located in bunkered buildings. The operators of all nuclear power plants in Switzerland have access to the store.