Berlin The imminent shutdown of the last German nuclear power plants once again brought people with different attitudes to nuclear energy onto the streets on Saturday.
The environmental protection organization Greenpeace celebrated the phasing out of nuclear energy at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin – there they showed a little red man with a “nuclear power? No thanks” sign and a sword on top of a replica dinosaur. “German nuclear power” and “Defeated on April 15, 2023!” were written on the dinosaur’s belly.
At the Brandenburg Gate, however, some people also protested against the shutdown of the nuclear power plants. The association Nuklearia had announced in an appeal that it wanted to set a positive sign for nuclear power. “We see nuclear power as the best way to maintain our prosperity while protecting nature and the climate,” writes the association.
On Saturday evening, the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany are finally to go offline. The Meiler Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2 should actually have been shut down at the end of last year. However, because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis, the government decided to let the power plants run over the winter.
On Saturday they must now be finally shut down in accordance with the amended Atomic Energy Act. This means that after more than 60 years, the generation of electricity from nuclear power in Germany has come to an end. Shutdown is expected just before midnight.
The organization Greenpeace rated the end of the use of nuclear energy in Germany as a “good day” for climate protection and as a success for the anti-nuclear movement. The executive director of Greenpeace Germany, Martin Kaiser, also called for the federal government to focus on safe disposal of the nuclear waste that has accumulated over decades and has been radiating for millions of years.
And in Lingen, shortly before the Emsland nuclear power plant was shut down, opponents of nuclear power protested for a definitive end to nuclear power in Germany.
On Saturday afternoon, opponents of nuclear power gathered in front of the fuel element factory ANF, which belongs to the French Framatome group. A spokesman for the alliance AgiEL – opponents of nuclear power in Emsland spoke of around 300 demonstrators who had gathered. According to a preliminary estimate, a police spokeswoman assumed around 100 participants.
According to the operator PreussenElektra, the Isar 2 nuclear power plant is expected to go offline around 11:45 p.m. and thus no longer feed in electricity. About a quarter of an hour later, the reactor will be shut down, said plant manager Carsten Müller on Saturday at the Essenbach site in the Landshut district.
More: What the end of nuclear power plants means for Germany