Germany is closing half of its six remaining nuclear power plants

Germany is closing half of its six remaining nuclear power plants
Germany is closing half of its six remaining nuclear power plants

The end of the use of nuclear energy and the transition from fossil fuel power plants to renewable energy were first announced by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s center-left government. His successor, Chancellor Angela Merkel, wanted to extend the life of the nuclear power plant for the first time, but reversed that decision after the 2001 accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, and He set 2022 as the final date for the closure of nuclear power plants.

The three power plants now to be shut down were first commissioned in the mid-1980s. For nearly four decades, millions of German households have been supplied with electricity.

One of the power plants involved – Brokdorf, about forty kilometers northwest of Hamburg on the Elbe – has been heavily criticized by opponents of nuclear power after the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

One of the other two power plants is located in Grohnde, about forty kilometers south of Hanover, and the other in Grundremmingen, eighty kilometers west of Munich.

In Germany, several have suggested rethinking the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, citing the fact that existing plants have relatively low CO2 emissions. Proponents of nuclear power say nuclear power could help Germany reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

However, the new German government said this week that the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants and the decommissioning of coal by 2030 would not affect the country’s energy security, nor is the goal of making Germany “Europe’s largest climate-neutral economy” by 2045.

Several of Germany’s neighbors have already shut down their nuclear power plants or have announced plans to do so, while others will insist on nuclear power, in fact, France is preparing to build more reactors.

The three nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany – Emsland, Isari and Neckarwestheim – will be shut down by the end of 2022.

More jobs will be lost as a result of the plant closures, but the electricity supplier RWE has announced that two-thirds of the six hundred workers at the Grundremmingen nuclear power plant will continue to be employed in post-closure work until the 2030s. Nuclear power companies receive nearly $ 3 billion (977 billion forints) from the state for the closure of all power plants.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke ruled out this week that Germany would change course again thanks to a new generation of nuclear power plants.

“Nuclear power plants continue to be high-risk facilities because they produce highly radioactive nuclear waste,” the minister said in an interview with Funke Media Group.

The fate of tens of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste generated by nuclear power plants in Germany has not yet been finally decided. Experts say some waste will remain dangerously radioactive after 35,000 generations.

Our cover art illustration. Source: Getty Images

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