Thursday, 14 April 2016 09:29

131 nuclear power plants already shut down

Written by  Martin Arnold

In March 2016, the Swiss Energy Foundation organised a conference in Zurich on the subject of the nuclear phase-out.

Mycle Schneider, author of the annual status report on nuclear energy, Beat Bechtold, director of the Nuclear Forum Switzerland, Horst Michael Prasser, professor of nuclear energy systems at the ETH Zurich, and the former environment minister Jürgen Tritten held nothing back at a panel discussion. Horst Michael Prasser is decisively in favour of constructing new plants, which he also considers safer. This of course raises the question of whether nuclear power plants are profitable. During his research, Mycle Schneider came across a new phenomenon: last year, seven reactors in the US were no longer connected to the grid despite new upgrades having been made and a lot of money having been invested. "Simply because they are no longer competitive." The controversial question: how many nuclear power plants even supply energy at this time? Many nuclear power plants show up in the statistics as operational, but they are not actually supplying any power. In any case, 131 nuclear power plants worldwide have officially been shut down, be it for reasons of safety, profitability or other causes. Mycle Schneider drew a gloomy picture of the state of the nuclear energy industry. Even in China, no more new nuclear power projects have been approved since the accident in Fukushima. Says Schneider: "When 500 out of 4,000 employees are let go at the reprocessing plant at La Hague, the name of the plutonium factory in France, then I have to ask myself: were they just twiddling their thumbs before or are they now skimping on safety wherever possible?"

Cutting of the Documentary "Into Eternity" (2010)

Who we are

Founded in 2012, the Association for Sustainable Journalism on the Internet is committed to high-quality, independent on-line journalism that stands the test of time. The association promotes and runs journalistic websites dedicated to topics that are hardly covered any more in conventional media. Its members include journalists, photographers, designers and web designers.

Pressbüro Seegrund, which was founded in 1989, is firmly established in the media landscape. Its focus is on feature reports, reportage and non-fiction books. It has launched a number of online magazines in recent years including,, and the latest creation:


Association for Sustainable Journalism in Internet,
Neugasse 30,
CH-9000 St. Gallen


Pressebüro Seegrund,
Neugasse 30, PO Box 445,
CH-9004 St. Gallen,
Tel. +41(0)71 671 10 73,,


Website design and programming:
Eveline Arnold Ukaegbu, Proclamation,
Zypressenstrasse 138,
CH-8004 Zürich,


English translation:
Elana Summers


Russian translation:
Alexej Scherbakov


Local interpretors: Galina Kovalch (Belarus),
Irina Gasanova (Ukraine), Chikako Yamamoto (Japan)


Martin Arnold, freelance journalist, author and media entrepreneur for the past 30 years
Urs Fitze, freelance journalist, reportage on politics, the economy, science, travel and the environment" target="_blank">,



Our Aim

Without provoking or causing a scandal, wants to shake things up a bit by encouraging society to reflect on a subject that affects all of us: nuclear power. It is a subject that polarises, turning opponents and supporters into ideologues. And it is a subject that divides the informed and the uninformed in a way that creates intentional and unintentional dependencies. Against the background of the current debates on the 'energy transition', we want to contribute a critical discussion for all those who want to more know about nuclear power. And we want to do our bit to overcome the deep ideological divide that separates supporters and opponents. When it comes to this subject, the truth very quickly becomes relative – or is made relative. You move around in an area where experts, opinion makers, ideologues, affected persons, victims, lobbyists, politicians and world saviours jostle against each other. Everyone should be able to have their say, to tell their truth. The truth of the radiation victims as well as that of the power plant operators, the supporters and the opponents. The second objective of the book is to explore the many facets of truth – and remain receptive to all those who want to make it comfortable for us.

Newsletter Signup

Stay informed on our latest news, Updates and new template.