Power grid going increasingly nuclear-free

German electricity will be largely nuclear-free from this weekend, when a power plant is taken off-line for maintenance leaving just four of the country's 17 nuclear generators operating.

Power grid going increasingly nuclear-free
Photo: DPA

Die Welt daily reported on Friday that grid companies were insisting no blackouts were to be expected but that the situation was tight.

“The situation is tense but under control,” said Joachim Vanzetta, the head of Amprion, an RWE power company subsidiary which operates part of the German power grid.

A spokesman for 50 Herz, another power grid operator told the newspaper that power companies had found themselves in a “very, very difficult situation,” leaving little room for error.

“The security reserves are exhausted,” said Volker Kamm.

The reason for the tight situation – normally Germany’s 17 nuclear plants provide about 25 percent of the country’s nuclear power – can be traced back to the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In the face of German concern over the safety of nuclear plants, Chancellor Angela Merkel took seven German plants off-line for intensive safety inspections.

Several others were subsequently shut down for to scheduled maintenance, which power companies would be unsafe to postpone.

The Local/mdm

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