Beznau nuclear power plant in Switzerland is the world’s oldest nuclear power plant.
Following the conclusion of the Second World War, nuclear power was made alongside nuclear weaponry. The first test of nuclear power happened at the X-10 Graphite Reactor at the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee, 1948.
Protestors in Switzerland have aimed at Beznau, particularly, and nuclear power in general. Following the Fukushima nuclear mishap in Japan in 2011, 20,000 protests came together in the town of Gottingen to attack Beznau in the largest anti-nuclear revolt in the country for 25 years.
In 2014 100 Greenpeace activists broke into Beznau and climbed one of the buildings at the site with a banner that said “the end” of nuclear power because of safety issues for the old plant. These issues seem to be well-founded in October 2015 when Beznau 1 was discovered to have 1000 holes, cracks, and depressions around the reactor. Beznau was shut down for repairs when abnormalities were discovered in its steam producers from March 2015 to March 2018.
Despite still generating power and being one of five nuclear plants that form 35% of Switzerland’s energy mix, Beznau and nuclear power itself is in danger. Switzerland will instead generate renewable energy from wind, solar and hydropower as the plan of its Energy Strategy 2050 plan. Whereas there will be no new general licenses for nuclear power plants, but old plants like Beznau will continue to work until they are decommissioned. Despite its age, safety issues and public revolts, Beznau nuclear power plant still generates power and is a vital part of Switzerland’s energy mix.