Health

Germany shuts three of its last six nuclear plants

The
government decided to speed up the phasing out of nuclear power following
Japan’s Fukushima reactor meltdown in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami
destroyed the coastal plant in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since
Chernobyl in 1986.

The reactors
of Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C, run by utilities E.ON and RWE, shut
down late on Friday after three and half decades in operation.

The last
three nuclear power plants – Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim II – will be
turned off by the end of 2022.

Preussen
Elektra, which runs the Brokdorf and Grohnde plants, said in a statement on
Saturday the two had been shut down shortly before midnight on Friday. RWE said
the Gundremmingen C plant also stopped generation on Friday evening.

PreussenElektra
CEO Guido Knott thanked staff for their commitment to safety: “We have
made a decisive contribution to the secure, climate-friendly and reliable
supply of electricity in Germany for decades.”

The
phase-out of an energy deemed clean and cheap by some is an irreversible step
for Europe’s biggest economy even as it faces ambitious climate targets and
rising power prices.

The six
nuclear power plants contributed to around 12 percent of electricity production
in Germany in 2021, preliminary figures showed. The share of renewable energy
was almost 41 percent, with coal generating just under 28 percent and gas
around 15 percent.

Germany aims
to make renewables meet 80 percent of power demand by 2030 by expanding wind
and solar power infrastructure.

Japan’s
government on Tuesday mapped out a plan for releasing contaminated water from
the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, angering neighbouring China
and South Korea.

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