Germany takes next nuclear plant offline according to schedule

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One of Germany’s last remaining nuclear power plants, Philippsburg 2, has been successfully taken off the grid on New Year’s Eve, operator EnBW said in a press release. “Block 2 of nuclear power plant Philippsburg finally went offline today at 6:55 pm,” EnBW wrote on 31 December, adding that the shutdown went ahead “as planned and without any anomalies”.

Dismantling of the plant that started operation in 1984 would start in early 2020, the company added. Jörg Michels, head of EnBW’s power plant unit, said the plant’s deconstruction would offer employees at the site “an interesting job perspective beyond power production”, according to Clean Energy Wire.

According to EnBW, Philippsburg 2 produced roughly ten billion kilowatt hours of power per year and provided about one sixth of the entire power consumption of southern federal state Baden-Wurttemberg. Environmental organisation BUND welcomed the plant’s decommissioning. “Every nuclear plant going offline is a success for decades of struggle against dangerous nuclear energy,” said BUND head Olaf Bandt, urging the government to also end the production of nuclear fuel rods in Germany. Bandt cautioned nuclear power should not be resurrected as a means to combat global warming, saying that questions regarding operational safety and nuclear waste storage remained as unanswered as ever.

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