Germany turned off its final three nuclear reactors on Saturday (15 April), leaving atomic power in favour of renewable energy sources and addressing an energy crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine.
Before midnight, Isar 2, Neckarwestheim, and Emsland reactors were disconnected from the electricity network in Germany's southeast, southwest, and northwest respectively.
These three plants contributed 6 per cent of Germany's energy last year, while all nuclear plants in 1997 supplied 30.8 per cent.
Western nations are investing in atomic energy to cut emissions; Germany, though, has ended its nuclear age earlier than expected.
German energy company RWE said the disconnection of three reactors from the electricity grid marked "the end of an era," in a midnight statement.
Germany, the largest economy in Europe, accelerated the phasing out of nuclear power in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, though they had already been trying to do so since 2002.
The country's anti-nuclear sentiment, fuelled by worries of Cold War conflicts and incidents like Chernobyl, made exiting a popular decision.
Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, visiting the ill-fated Japanese plant before the G7 meeting, stated that the "risks of nuclear power are ultimately unmanageable."
"We are putting an end to a dangerous, unsustainable, and costly technology," said Green MP Juergen Trittin.
German nuclear exit was earlier set for the end of 2022. The delay was due to dwindling Russian gas supplies.
Germany reactivated mothballed coal-fired plants as a backup due to the potential gap left by gas, despite being the largest European Union (EU) emitter.
Domestically, there were more calls for delaying the exit from nuclear due to the challenging energy situation.
Germany's chamber of commerce president, Peter Adrian, told local media that the country must increase their energy supply instead of limiting it, due to possible scarcities and costly expenses.
Leader of the opposition CDU party Friedrich Merz criticised the decision to abandon nuclear power, claiming it was due to an "almost fanatical bias."
Germany is looking to push its share of energy from renewables up to 80 per cent by 2030.
Its climate goals may not be achieved, though, if progress on renewables remains as slow as it is currently.
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