Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

The decision to close three facilities comes a year before the decades-long use of nuclear power declines forever.

Germany closes half of the six nuclear plants it still has in operation on Friday, a year before the country draws the last curtain over its decades-long use of nuclear power.

The decision to phase out nuclear power and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy was first taken up in 2002 by the center-left government of Gerhard Schroeder.

His successor, Angela Merkel, reversed her decision to extend Germany’s life nuclear plants in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan and set 2022 as the final deadline for its closure.

The three reactors now being shut down were first switched on in the mid-1980s. Together, they supplied electricity to millions of German households for nearly four decades.

One of the plants – Brokdorf, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Hamburg on the Elbe River – has become a particular focus of anti-nuclear protests fueled by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union.

The other two plants are Grohnde, about 40 kilometers south of Hanover, and Grundremmingen, 80 kilometers west of Munich.

Some 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 relatively little carbon dioxide. Proponents of nuclear energy argues that it can help Germany achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

But the German government said this week that eliminating all nuclear plants next year and then using coal by 2030 will not phase out the country’s energy security or its goal of making Europe’s largest economy “climate neutral” by 2045.

“By greatly increasing renewable energy and accelerating the expansion of the electricity network, we can show that this is possible in Germany,” said Robert Habeck, Minister of Economy and Climate.

Several of Germany’s neighbors have already terminated nuclear power or announced plans to do so, but others are sticking to the technology. This has raised concerns about a nuclear power outage in Europe, with France planning to build new reactors and Germany opting for natural gas as a “bridge” until enough renewable energy is available, and both sides arguing that their preferred source of energy as sustainably classified.

Germany’s remaining three nuclear plants – Emsland, Isar and Neckarwestheim – will be shut down by the end of 2022.

While some jobs will be lost, utility RWE said more than two-thirds of the 600 workers at its Gundremmingen nuclear power station will be involved in post-shutdown operations until the 2030s. Germany’s nuclear power companies will receive almost $ 3 billion for the early closure of their plants.

Steffi Lemke, Minister of Environmental Affairs, has rejected proposals that a new generation of nuclear power plants could encourage Germany to change course again.

“Nuclear power plants remain high-risk facilities that produce highly radioactive nuclear waste,” she told the Funke media group this week.

A final decision has yet to be made on where tens of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste produced in German power plants should be stored. Experts say some material will remain dangerously radioactive for 35,000 generations.

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.