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Nuclear chaos: Finland powers up as Germany shuts down

It was a flag day for nuclear power in Europe, for better or worse.

The continent’s turmoil over the future of energy policy was in full display on Sunday as Europe’s largest nuclear power plant came online in 2018. Finland After several hours GermanyThe continent’s largest economy has officially closed its last nuclear reactor.

The juxtaposition stands out as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is forcing European countries to fundamentally rethink their energy markets.

Oil and gas imports from Russia, once the European Union’s dominant supplier, have plummeted, with countries scrambling to find new suppliers to make up the shortfall.

Finland‘s state-of-the-art Olkiluoto 3 reactor came online on Sunday after months of operational delays.The plant itself provides almost one-seventh Finlandelectricity is needed and is expected to produce electricity “for at least the next 60 years,” operator TVO said in a statement.

Finland’s electricity network supervisor Fingrid said more than 50% of the Nordic country’s electricity is now generated by nuclear power.

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in contrast, Germany In response to the devastation of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in the March 2011 tsunami, then-Chancellor Angela Merkel made a more than decade-old pledge to phase out nuclear power entirely. I’ve been sticking to

Current Chancellor Olaf Scholz has come under pressure to reverse Merkel’s decisions. Especially as old German coal and natural gas plants have been revived to replace lost nuclear power.

Scholz agreed to delay the original December 31 shutdown date, but the Emsland, Neckarwestheim and Isar II nuclear power plants shut down completely just before midnight on Saturday.

The Anti-Nuclear Reactor held celebrations outside the now-closed plant and in Berlin, the Associated Press reported.

But many say the policy is misplaced at a time of great supply uncertainty, and the question of what to do with the nuclear waste that has accumulated at German factories over the past 60 years is still unclear. said.

Bavarian state chancellor Markus Söder, head of the conservative Christian Social Union party, is considering petitioning Berlin for the right to reopen and operate the Isar II plant at the state level. said.

“While many countries in the world are expanding even nuclear power generation, Germany Soder told reporters on Sunday. “We need energy in all its forms.

German business groups say the decision to phase out nuclear power could drive up costs and hurt competitiveness, but the German economy is far less dependent on nuclear power than France and other countries such as France. . Finland.

only about 5% Germanyof domestic electricity demand is supplied by nuclear power.

• Part of this article is based on news agency reports. Nuclear chaos: Finland powers up as Germany shuts down

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