Germany-based energy company EnBW is responsible for the operation and post-operation, as well as the decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plant, which is among the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany


View of Neckarwestheim site. (Credit: EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG)

Emsland Nuclear Power Station in Lingen, Lower Saxony, Germany, has officially been shut down, as part of the country’s decision to stop using nuclear and fossil fuels.

The nuclear facility had around 350 of its own staff in addition to around 150 employees from partner companies who are permanently on duty at the plant.

According to renewable energy company RWE, it is one of three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany, and its decommissioning ends 35 years of safe and reliable operation.

The dismantling activities in the future will require a few people, and the workforce will be gradually reduced over the coming years.

RWE said it has operated its nuclear power plants safely and reliably in Biblis, Kahl, Mühlheim-Kärlich, Gundremmingen and Lingen in the last six decades.

RWE CEO Markus Krebber said: “The phasing out of nuclear energy in Germany is a political decision. Before arriving at this point today, nuclear energy was the subject of heated and passionate debates for decades.

“That chapter is now closed. Now it is important to put all our energy into forging ahead with the construction of hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants as quickly as possible, in addition to the expansion of renewables, so that security of supply remains guaranteed when Germany ideally also phases out coal in 2030.”

German energy company EnBW is responsible for the operation and post-operation, as well as the decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plant.

The company said that the nuclear power plant is being decommissioned in compliance with requirements under the Atomic Energy Act within the specified time limit.

It has already secured the necessary license, with plans to commence the initial preparatory work for dismantling the unit, in the coming weeks.

The construction of the Emsland nuclear power plant started in 1982, and the first unit started operation in April 1988, after six years of construction.

The power plant has continuously generated electricity, except during the times of inspection and maintenance phases.

EnBW nuclear power subsidiary managing director Jörg Michels said: “We would like to express our gratitude to the employees at the Neckarwestheim site for their unwavering commitment to the safety of the nuclear power plant, which in turn has ensured a safe and reliable supply of electricity in Baden-Württemberg.

“In recent months, they have once again demonstrated their expertise and professionalism by responding to the government’s request to extend electricity generation at short notice. This accomplishment commands the utmost respect.

“With the shutdown of GKN II, our focus will now shift to dismantling the fifth and final plant. We are pleased to be tackling this challenge with our experienced and capable employees, to whom we are consequently able to offer attractive job prospects following the end of electricity generation.”