Lucens reactor site may return to public use

Wednesday, August 9, 1989

Swiss voters in the region of the dismantled Lucens reactor have passed a proposal to return the site to civilian use. Lucens, Switzerland's first nuclear plant, was permanently shut down only one month after it began operation, after a partial fuel meltdown in 1969. The unit was an 8.5-MWe gas-cooled heavy-water reactor.

Residents of the canton (state) of Vaud approved a proposal for the final phase of decommissioning, ending the legal obligations to monitor the site. Since the reactor, built into an underground rock cavern, is already dismantled, the plan calls for lining the cavern with concrete and removing containers of radioactive waste from the grounds. Final cleanup is expected to total 10 million Swiss francs ($5.9 million). The Swiss federal government, which must formally approve the plan, was asked by the Lucens town council to continue surveillance of the site.

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