Germany powers down half of its nuclear power plants

As part of the nuclear phase-out, three nuclear power plants in Germany will be taken off the grid on Friday.

“The nuclear phase-out makes our country safer and helps to avoid radioactive waste.” said Federal Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Steffi Lemke.

“It is now imperative to … push ahead with the search for a repository for high-level radioactive waste as well as permanent solutions for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste,” said the Ministry of the Environment.

Former Chancellor Angela Merkel has accelerated the exit the following The 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan.

The shutdown on Friday affects the power plants Brokdorf in Schleswig-Holstein, Grohnde in Lower Saxony and Gundremmingen C in Bavaria.

Germany remaining three nuclear power plants – Emsland in Lower Saxony, Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim 2 in Baden-Wuerttemberg – should be closed “at the latest” by the end of 2022, announced the Ministry of the Environment.

“Since 2011, Germany has been drawing a line under a highly problematic technology in an orderly and reliable process,” said Lemke.

Nuclear energy accounts for around 10 percent of German electricity production. The shutdown has sparked criticism because Germany has to ramp up renewable energies dramatically and has also increased its dependence on highly polluting coal power.

“The security of supply in Germany is still guaranteed,” said Federal Climate and Economics Minister Robert Habeck. Reliable and “sustainably generated electricity” is a “central requirement for the climate-neutral orientation of our economy and industry”.

This attitude brings Berlin into conflict with France, where nuclear energy makes up the largest part of its energy mix (and also contributes to supplying Germany).

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in September that existing nuclear power plants that provide low-carbon electricity for the transition to a green economy can be kept running for “two, five, ten years”, adding: “Why should we get these Rob production capacity? ? “

France plans to reduce the share of nuclear energy in its electricity mix from 75 to 50 percent by 2035, but President Emmanuel Macron said in November that France will “start building nuclear reactors again” while at the same time “pushing ahead with the expansion of renewable energies”.

Macron also said France would invest 1 billion euros in research and development, especially in small modular reactors.

Belgium recently decided switch off all nuclear power plants by 2025, but want to invest 100 million euros in the new generation of nuclear reactors and in research.

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