Nuclear energy

Nuclear installations in Baden-Württemberg

Kernkraftwerk Philippsburg

There are five nuclear power plants that are subject to supervision by the nuclear regulatory agency in Baden-Württemberg. In addition, the interim storage facilities in Neckarwestheim and Philipsburg, the former reprocessing plant in Karlsruhe (WAK), the European Joint Research Center Karlsruhe (JRC), the facilities of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Siemens educational reactors (SUR) are also subject to supervision.

The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy is the approval agency for nuclear installations and facilities, with the exception of the interim storage facilities for highly radioactive waste in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg. The Federal office for the safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) is the approval authority for these interim storages..

Nuclear power plants

Five nuclear power plants are sited on three sites in Baden-Württemberg: Neckarwestheim (GKN I, GKN II), Philippsburg (KKP 1, KKP 2) and Obrigheim (KWO). GKN II and KKP 2 are still running, KKP 1 and GKN I are permanently shut down since 2011 and under decommissioning since 2017. KWO is permanently shut down since 2005 and under decommissioning since 2008.

Withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme

After conducting negotiations with the energy supply companies, the federal legislator made the decision in 2002 to restrict the lifetimes of the German nuclear power stations. Each of the power stations was allocated a residual electricity volume, resulting in the power operation being discontinued after this volume had been generated. The residual electricity volume was increased again however at the end of 2010 so that the lifetimes of the nuclear power stations were prolonged.

After the reactor catastrophe occurred in Fukushima in March 2011, the German Federal Government resolved to have the oldest running nuclear power stations temporarily shutdown so that safety checks could be carried out (a so-called moratorium).

An amended version of the Atomic Energy Act then came into force in August 2011, this comprising a gradual withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme by 2022 at the latest. The decisive reason for this was a re-evaluation of the risks after Fukushima.

The fundamental change to the legislation was that the Federal Government withdrew the increased residual electricity volume that it had resolved in 2010 in addition to it stipulating shutdown dates for the nuclear power stations on which the power stations were to lose their power operation licenses at the latest. The nuclear power stations that had to be shutdown in March 2011 were permanently taken out of operation and all of the other nuclear power stations are to follow by 2022.

The withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme that was resolved in 2002 has resulted in the Obrigheim nuclear power station being finally shut down in May 2005 and dismantling work has now been in progress since 2008. The Neckarwestheim I (GKN I) and Philippsburg 1 (KKP 1) nuclear power stations were shut down in March 2011 as a result of the moratorium and they finally lost their power operation licenses on 6 August 2011. The Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector has issued the shutdown approvals for both of these nuclear power stations in February (GKN I) and April 2017 respectively (KKP 1). This means that three nuclear power stations are currently being dismantled in Baden-Württemberg.

The Philippsburg 2 (KKP 2) and Neckarwestheim II (GKN II) nuclear power stations can still be operated. The lifetime of KKP 2 ends at the end of 2019 at the latest and that of GKN II at the end of 2022 at the latest.