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Germany shuts down its last nuclear power plant

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Commitment made: Germany will shut down its last three nuclear reactors on Saturday, April 15, the culmination of a long-running exit from atomic power that remains controversial in the context of the climate emergency.

At midnight at the latest (the same time as in mainland France), the power plants Isar 2 (southeast), Neckarwestheim (southwest) and Emsland (northwest) will be disconnected from the power grid.

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The German government had given them a reprieve of a few weeks, compared to a ruling initially set for 31 December, but without questioning the decision to turn the page.

Thus, the largest economy in Europe will open a new chapter, after facing the challenge of weaning itself from fossil fuels, while managing the gas crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

“The risks associated with nuclear power are definitely out of control.”Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said this week. They worried large segments of the population and promoted the environmental movement.

Was closing Fessenheim a good idea?

At the forefront of the fight against nuclear weapons, the Greenpeace movement is organizing a farewell ceremony at the foot of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at midday. “Finally, Nuclear Energy is History! Let’s Make April 15th Unforgettable Day”Announcing the NGO.

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Nuclear, thanks.Conservative daily “FAZ” wrote on Saturday, on the contrary, emphasizing the benefits it brought to the country.

Quick exit from Fukushima

The exit from nuclear power has come a long way. After an initial decision by Berlin in the early 2000s to phase out the atom, former Chancellor Angela Merkel accelerated the process after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Since 2003, Germany has already shut down 16 reactors.

The invasion of Ukraine could have called everything into question. Deprived of Russian gas, most of which Moscow has cut off, Germany finds itself exposed to the darkest scenarios, from the risk of shutting down its factories to the risk of no heating.

The winter finally passed without shortages, Russian gas was replaced by other suppliers, but the consensus on phasing out nuclear energy has collapsed: in a recent poll for public broadcaster ARD, 59% of respondents believe that giving up nuclear energy in this context is not a good idea.

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‘Winter is going to be very complicated’: why Germany is preparing to delay the phase-out of nuclear weapons

Germany should “Expand energy supplies, not further restrict them” In view of the dangers of shortages and price hikes, the head of the German Chambers of Commerce, Peter Adrian, denounced in the daily “Rheinische Post”.

“It’s a strategic mistake, in a still tense geopolitical environment.”Bijan Gersaray, general secretary of the liberal FDP party, but partner in the government coalition that includes Olaf Schultz and environmentalists, also said.

The last three plants provided only 6% of the energy produced in the country last year, while nuclear power accounted for 30.8% in 1997.

Meanwhile, the share of renewables in the production mix will reach 46% in 2022, compared to less than 25% ten years ago.

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After 20 years of energy transition, renewable energy now produces about one and a half times more electricity than nuclear power produced at its peak in Germany.This was told by AFP Simon Müller, director of the Energiewende Agora Study Center in Germany.

The goal is 80% from renewable energy sources in 2030

But in Germany, the EU’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, coal still accounts for a third of electricity production, up 8% last year to make up for the absence of Russian gas.

“Reviving fossil energy to offset the exit from nuclear power is not moving in the direction of climate action.” At the European level, the French Energy Transition Ministry said this week.

France, with 56 reactors, remains the most nuclear country per capita. At the European level, there are sharp differences between Paris and Berlin on the role of the atom.

sequel after announcement

Why Half of France’s Nuclear Reactors Are Shutting Down (And Why It’s Worrying)

Germany prefers to focus on its goal of covering 80% of its electricity needs with renewables by 2030, with coal-fired power plants shutting down by 2038 at the latest.

But here uncertainty reigns. Where and how should renewable energy be produced? Everyone in this country agrees on at least one thing: Not in my country.confirms the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on Saturday.

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