The power plant consists of two virtually identical, dual-loop, pressurised water reactor units. The combined net power output is 730MWel, which corresponded to a tenth of the total Swiss electricity consumption at the time of the EPD registration.
The declared product is the 1kWh net electricity generated in the power plant distributed to consumers connected to the Axpo AG network during the reference year.
Axpos sustainability policy requires the company to continuously reduce its environmental impact. Its direct environmental effects are measured, monitored and reduced with the help of an environmental management system. The mitigation of environmental impact is subject to particular efforts.
Axpo AG, ensures the electricity supply of North-Eastern Switzerland with nuclear power plants, hydroelectric plants as well as renewable energy, mainly biomass.
The company chose to register an EPD as a description of its environmental performance in order to provide reliable and transparent information to its stakeholders. An EPD is always standardised according to ISO and its quality is verified and certified by an independent, accredited body.
The value of such a comprehensive environmental assessment was that we learnt about the consequences of the operation in a particular facility. It enabled the management to support and legitimate the technology against the public, says Christian Capello, a sustainability spokesperson at Axpo AG.
Environmental assessments form a basis for multi-faceted discussions between the company, politicians and the general public.
“Every technology shows environmental advantages as well as disadvantages. We try to go beyond the black-and-white judgement of technologies”, says Christian Capello.
Discovering the complexity of the production chain was a surprise to Axpo AG in the process of collecting information for the EPD. The results of the life cycle assessment gave them new angles to their work.
Axpo chose to register an EPD on Climate Declarations as no additional verification process had to be conducted for the GHG.
“We favour the effort to have one harmonised EPD system in Europe as this allows for a broad comparison of products”, says Christian Capello.
Axpo AG have continued the work with EPDs and registered two more EPDs for conversion of biomass into electricity at the Otelfingen Kompogas facility and the water powerplant at Wildegg-Brugg run-of-river Power Plant.
Read the EPDs: