German utility EnBW has permanently shut down its Philippsburg 2 reactor to comply with the country’s nuclear phase-out plan, putting the company in a position to have to import electricity to meet demand.
Philippsburg 2, shut down at the end of 2019, was a 1402MWe pressurized water reactor that produced 10TWh of electricity per year and, since 1985, produced 355 TWh. Decommissioning is expected to take up to 15 years with the unit’s two cooling towers being taken down this year.
Germany is now down to six nuclear reactors, down from a peak of 17 in 2011. The industry, just prior to Philippsburg 2’s shut down, produced over 10 percent of the country’s electricity. EnBW now has only one out of its five nuclear reactors still in operation. Along with Philippsburg 2, the company is dismantling Obrigheim, Neckarwestheim 1 and Philippsburg 1, which are already closed down.
Germany has gone back and forth with its approval of nuclear power over the years, but made its phase-out commitment after the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan.
While phasing out nuclear power, Germany is also phasing out coal for electricity production. Coal, the traditional power source in Germany, still produces more than a third of its electricity, according to Nuclear Engineering International.
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