Germany shuts down half of the six nuclear plants it has remaining in operation. This is a year before the country draws the final curtain on it’s decades long use of atomic power accordingly.
The decision to wipe out nuclear power and use fossil fuels to renewable energy was first taken by the cente-left government of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in 2002.
The three plants being shuttered were first powered up in the mid 1980s. They have provided electricity for about 40 years to millions of German households.
One of the plants, BROKDORF, located about 40 kilometers northwest of Hamburg on the Elbe River became a particular focus of anti-nuclear protests that were driven by the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in the Soviet Union.
The other two plants are GROHNDE about 40km south of Hannover and GRUNDREMMINGEN 80km west of Munich.
Some people in Germany have called for the decision to end the use of nuclear power to be reconsidered , because the power plants already in operation produce little carbon dioxide. This can help Germany meet it’s climate targets for reducing greenhouse gas emission according to advocates of atomic energy.
However, the German Government said; Decommissioning all nuclear plants next year and then phasing out the use of coal by 2030 will not effect the county’s energy security or it’s goal of making Europe biggest economy “climate neutral” by 2045.
The Economy and Climate Minister – Robert Habeck said;
‘ By massively increasing renewable energy and accelerating the expansion of electricity grid we can show that this is possible in Germany”
The Germany remaining three nuclear plants are: EMSLAND, ISAR AND NECKARWESTHEIM . which will be closed by end of 2022.
The Germany nuclear power companies will receive almost $30 billion for the early shutdown of their plants.
Environmental Minister – Steffi Lemke has dismissed suggestions that a new generation of nuclear plants might prompt Germany to change course yet again.
According to the Funke media group, She said;
“Nuclear power plants remain high risk facilities that produce highly radioactive atomic waste”
Meanwhile, Experts say some materials will remain dangerously radioactive for 35,000 generations. And a final decision is yet to be taken a about where to store tens of thousands of tones of nuclear waste produced in German power plants.