Germany says auf Wiedersehen to last nuclear power plants

Germany's Isar II nuclear power plant (germany)
Germany's Isar II nuclear power plant (Image: Shutterstock)

Germany has turned off its last three operational nuclear power plants, ending a 60-year nuclear program, according to Reuters.

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Isar II, Emsland and Neckarwestheim II reactors were shut down forever at midnight on Saturday as Berlin began enacting its plan for fully renewable electricity generation by 2035.

Germany made the decision to quit nuclear power following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster, which was rated 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale—the same rating as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

The closure was delayed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Germany to halt Russian fossil fuel imports. Prices soared and there were fears of energy shortages around the world, but now Germany is confident again about gas supplies and expansion of renewables.

Environmental groups planned to mark the day with celebrations outside the three reactors and rallies in major cities, including Berlin. Small, closed-doors ceremonies inside the plants were also organised.

Defenders of atomic energy say fossil fuels should be phased out first as part of global efforts to curb climate change, arguing that nuclear power produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions and is safe if properly managed.

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