Germany will shut down three of its last six nuclear power plants on Friday, a further step towards phasing out nuclear energy by focusing on renewable energies melted in 2011, when an earthquake and a tsunami in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl destroyed the coastal power plant 25 years earlier for three and a half decades in operation.
The last three nuclear power plants Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim II will be shut down by the end of 2022, the largest economy with ambitious climate targets and is faced with rising energy prices.
“For the energy industry in Germany, the nuclear phase-out is final,” said Kerstin Andreae, managing director of the energy industry association BDEW.
The six nuclear power plants contributed around 12% to electricity production in Germany in 2021, as preliminary figures from the BDEW show.
The share of renewable energies was just under 41%, with coal generating just under 28% and gas around 15%.
By expanding the wind and solar energy infrastructure, Germany intends to cover 80% of its energy needs from renewable energies by 2030.
Economic and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck said on Wednesday that he did not see the anti-nuclear consensus in Germany weakened. the true end of the nuclear age in Germany.
“We have to say that there will continue to be uranium enrichment plants in Germany like the one in Gronau,” said Arne Fellermann, managing director of the environmental association BUND, to Reuters.
“There is also a research reactor in Garching that is still operated with weapons-grade uranium,” Fellermann continues.
When asked about possible job losses, the mayor of Gundremmingen, Tobias Bühler, said that the plant employees were busy dismantling the reactor after the shutdown.
The shutdown will certainly take another decade or two, ”said Bühler. E.ON estimates the total costs for the decommissioning at 1.1 billion euros (1.25 billion US dollars) per plant.
E.ON set up provisions of € 9.4 billion in 2020 for the nuclear aftercare phase, which includes the decommissioning of the facility, packaging and cleaning of radioactive waste.
The shutdown is expected to be completed in 2040.
The Japanese government on Tuesday presented a plan to dump contaminated water from the paralyzed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, angering neighboring countries China and South Korea.