A tiny leak was discovered by measurement devices at the plant and the operators, RWE Power AG and E.On SE, decided to take the 17-year-old facility temporarily offline as a precautionary measure.
An investigation into the incident and possible other problems is currently underway. The ministry did not release additional details, including when the facility would return to normal service.
The 1,400-megawatt plant near the Dutch border was commissioned in 1988. Since then, it has been producing some 11 billion kWh of electricity annually, supplying 3.5 million homes, according to RWE.
In Lower Saxony, there are two nuclear power plants still in operation. Besides Emsland, the Grohnde facility near Hamelin, commissioned in 1984, is also generating power. As part of Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy, Emsland is set to be shut off permanently in 2022.