German Nuclear Phaseout Enters Final Stage

German Nuclear Phaseout Enters Final StageGerman Nuclear Phaseout Enters Final Stage

Germany's nuclear phase-out plan is entering its final stage with the first of the country's nine remaining modern reactors shutting down for good this Saturday.

Plant operator E.ON decided to close the 1.3 GW Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant half a year ahead of its final decommissioning date, set by the government in the weeks after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, because it is not profitable to run, Platts reported.

Last year, E.ON decided to retire the 33-year-old reactor in the southern state of Bavaria earlier than required because operation of nuclear power stations in Germany only makes economic sense if they can run for a sufficient length of time without the burden of the nuclear-fuel tax, it said.

The brevity of Grafenrheinfeld's remaining operating lifetime after a required annual refueling stop this June made an early shutdown unavoidable in the interests of E.ON's shareholders, it said last year. Media reports last year estimated that the nuclear fuel tax for the refueling of the plant would cost E.ON around €80 million ($89 million).