Final partial approval for demolition of Philippsburg nuclear power plant granted

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The state government of Baden-Württemberg granted the last partial approval for the demolition of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant on Friday. As announced by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Stuttgart, the operator EnBW allowed further demolition work on block one of the power plant on the Rhine, which had already been shut down in 2011. It is about the dismantling of the old pool for the storage of fuel rods and the massive outer concrete shell.

The permits for the demolition of the second block of the power plant complex north of Karlsruhe, which was closed at the end of 2019, had already been granted in full, the ministry said. The first partial approval in the case of block one was granted in 2017 according to EnBW. In the same year, work began on its dismantling.

According to the operator, the complete demolition of the radioactive parts of a block takes around ten to 15 years. This is done in many individual steps. In May, the two former large cooling towers of the power plant were blown up on the Philippsburg site. Because of the spectacular pictures, the campaign was noticed nationwide. However, the towers were not part of the radioactively contaminated part of the decommissioned facilities.

In Baden-Württemberg only one out of five nuclear power plants is currently running. After the shutdown of block two in Philippsburg in December last year, block two of the power plant in Neckarwestheim is the last reactor that still produces electricity. It will also be decommissioned at the end of 2022 in accordance with the Nuclear Exit Act.

For all shutdown power plants in the state, after the decision to block one of Philippsburg, complete demolition permits are already available, as the Environment and Energy Ministry in Stuttgart announced. Environment Minister Franz Untersteller (Greens) spoke in this context of a “further important step towards a new world without nuclear power in Germany”.

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