On Monday, Axpo submitted the documents for characterisation and assessment of the findings in the base material of the Beznau 1 reactor pressure vessel. The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) will review these and decide whether Beznau 1 nuclear power plant will receive permission to restart. In its assessment, ENSI will be advised by the International Review Panel.
Georg Schwarz, ENSI Deputy Director and Director of the NPPs Division stresses once more, “Only if Beznau 1 fulfils the requirements of the legislators, then it will be able to start up again.”
To assess the Axpo documents, ENSI will consider the opinion of an international group of experts.
This was the reason for setting-up the so-called International Review Panel in 2015. The panel consists of internationally renowned experts in the fields of safety cases for reactor pressure vessel integrity, materials testing, the fabrication of large forgings, and non-destructive testing methods.
ENSI will incorporate the recommendations of these experts in its own statement. “Ultimately however, it is ENSI’s responsibility to decide on the possible continued operation of Beznau 1,” Georg Schwarz emphasises.
Change to the Review Panel
The Review Panel, chaired by the UK’s Timothy Williams, consists of seven well-known experts. Eberhard Roos, former Director of the Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart (MPA Stuttgart), recently decided to retire from the International Review Panel for personal reasons.