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Germany takes nuclear plant offline, final six to close over two years via Reuters

Tom Käckenhoff

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – Germany will take another step toward completing its withdrawal from nuclear power when EnBW pulls the plug on the Philippsburg 2 power station on New Year’s Eve, leaving half a dozen plants still to close over the next two years.

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“Every nuclear power station that is turned off is a success for the decades-long struggle against dangerous atomic energy,” said Olaf Brandt, head of the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND).

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The shutdown will take only a few hours to complete. In 2020 Philippsburg 2’s two cooling towers will be knocked down, kicking off demolition work that will take 10 to 15 years to complete.

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Critics of Germany’s energy strategy say that phasing out nuclear power leaves it excessively reliant on nuclear or coal-fired power imported from neighboring countries to cover shortfalls in environmentally friendly wind and solar power. 

Industry association BDEW estimates that nuclear reactors accounted for about 12% of German power generation in 2019, down from 30% in 2000. Over the same period, the share of power from renewable sources has risen to 40%.

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