END OF AN ERA – GERMANY POWERS DOWN ITS REMAINING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
Germany began winding down its three remaining nuclear power plants as part of a long-planned transition toward renewable energy, drawing cheers from environmentalists who campaigned for the move.
The shutdown of the reactors Emsland, Neckarwestheim II and Isar II, agreed to more than a decade ago, is being closely watched abroad.
Altogether, 19 nuclear power plant units supplied up to a third of the country’s electricity, though the last time this happened was about 20 years ago.
Other industrialized countries, such as the United States, Japan, China, France and Britain, are counting on nuclear energy to replace planet-warming fossil fuels. Germany’s decision to stop using both has met some skepticism, as well as unsuccessful last-minute calls to halt the shutdown.
Advocates of nuclear power worldwide have slammed the German shutdown, aware that the action by Europe’s biggest economy could deal a blow to a technology they tout as a clean and reliable alternative to fossil fuels.
(Source: DW/NPR – Image: Emsland NPP/DW)
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