Germany disconnects its last three nuclear power plants today

Germany Nuclear Energy

Germany closes this Saturday (04.15.2023) its last three nuclear reactors and thus culminates the abandonment of this type of energy, an old commitment sometimes misunderstood in the context of climate urgency. At midnight, the power plants Isar 2 (Bavaria), Neckarswestheim (Baden-Württemberg) and Emsland (Lower Saxony) are scheduled to be disconnected from the electricity grid.

“Today in Germany the last nuclear power plants are turned off. The decision was made by consensus in the Bundestag (lower house of the German Parliament) and by several governments. It is a good and correct decision because it makes our country safer,” said the minister of Environment, Steffi Lemke (from Los Verdes), in a video message broadcast on social networks. “Atomic power has given electricity to three generations, but its residues will remain dangerous for the next 30,000 generations, so we must be careful and carry out the process responsibly,” Lemke concluded.

Since 2003, Germany has already closed 16 reactors. A process that accelerated in 2011, after the Fukushima catastrophe, with the impetus of the government of the conservative Angela Merkel. His proposal to renounce nuclear energy was approved by a large majority in the German Parliament -with 513 votes in favor and 79 against- but the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis has reopened the debate on a way of energy that until this Saturday generated 5% of the electricity consumed in Germany.

The German government agreed to a postponement of several weeks with respect to the originally scheduled date of December 31, but without giving up the decision. Although with opposite positions. “It is a strategic mistake in a geopolitical environment that remains tense,” said Bijan Djir-Sarai, secretary general of the liberal FDP party, a coalition government partner with Olaf Scholz’s SPD and environmentalists. According to a recent poll for the public channel ARD, 59% of respondents think that abandoning nuclear energy in this context is not a good idea. Industry and the opposition have also criticized the nuclear blackout.

At the forefront of the fight against nuclear power, Greenpeace organized a farewell celebration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin: “At last, nuclear power is history! Let’s make this April 15 a day to remember,” the NGO proclaimed. .According to Olaf Scholz, four to five wind turbines per day will have to be installed in the coming years to meet the needs.