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


(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. 

The government decided to shut down the 17 reactors in operation at the time of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, when a tsunami flooded the coastal facility and knocked out its backup generators. 

Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster since a reactor blew up at Chernobyl in Soviet-era Ukraine in 1986, forced the evacuation of 154,000 people from surrounding areas contaminated with radiation. 

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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