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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.


“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).


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.


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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