• IMG_3063_bearbeitet-2.jpg © Technisches Museum Wien
Collection Area
Energy & Mining
Electrical Engineering
1970 - 1979

Model of the Zwentendorf nuclear power station

The Zwentendorf nuclear power station is the only one in the world that was never connected to the grid after completion. In a referendum in 1978, a slight majority was against its commissioning.

Neither did the atomic euphoria of the post-war years stop at Austria: in 1956, the first research reactor was constructed in Seibersdorf. In 1957, Vienna became the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Organisation. At that time, nuclear energy constituted the energy of the future and was to provide electricity for the Austrian economic miracle as well.

The Klaus government intended to build a nuclear power station. Agreed in 1971 under Bruno Kreisky, the construction of the 723 MW boiling-water reactor was realized in 1972. Nuclear power stations were also planned for St. Valentin in Lower Austria and for St. Andrä in Carinthia.

However, with construction underway, resistance arose in the population across party borders and ideological backgrounds. The power station split society and not just the atom. When Kreisky risked Austria's first referendum in 1978, 50.47 % voted against commissioning. In December 1978, the National Assembly decided to ban nuclear power stations in Austria through a law prohibiting the use of nuclear fission. In 1999, the ban became a Federal Constitutional Act. Since the Chernobyl worst-case scenario in 1986, anti-nuclear policy in Austria has become a social and party-political consensus.

The disused boiling-water reactor has been used as a donor of replacement parts for the structurally-identical German power stations Isar 1, Brunsbüttel and Phillipsburg 1, as well as for educational purposes for the Deutsche Kraftwerksschule e. V. (German Power-Station School) in Essen. The ‘stranded investment’ totalled around 14 billion Schillings (around 1 billion Euros). The model from the collections of the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) was exhibited in 1978 in the information centre of the operating company GKT.

Many thanks to: Gemeinschaftskraftwerk Tullnerfeld GmbH
Date of origin: around 1978
Model 1:100

Inv.Nr. 50934
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