Three out of six nuclear plants in Germany shut down
A nuclear power plant is pictured in Gundremmingen, southern Germany on Feb 26, 2021. /AFP

A nuclear power plant is pictured in Gundremmingen, southern Germany on Feb 26, 2021. /AFP

Germany has closed three of its last six nuclear power stations as it moves towards completing its withdrawal from nuclear power turning its focus to renewable energy.

The government decided to speed up the phasing out of nuclear power following Japan's Fukushima reactor meltdown in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami destroyed the coastal plant in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The last three nuclear power plants - Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim II - will be turned off by the end of 2022.

Preussen Elektra, which runs the Brokdorf and Grohnde plants, said in a statement on Saturday the two had been shut down shortly before midnight on Friday. RWE said the Gundremmingen C plant also stopped generation on Friday evening.

Preussen-Elektra CEO Guido Knott thanked staff for their commitment to safety: "We have made a decisive contribution to the secure, climate-friendly and reliable supply of electricity in Germany for decades."

The phase-out of an energy deemed clean and cheap by some is an irreversible step for Europe's biggest economy even as it faces ambitious climate targets and rising power prices.

The six nuclear power plants contributed to around 12 percent of electricity production in Germany in 2021, preliminary figures showed. The share of renewable energy was almost 41percnt, with coal generating just under 28 percent and gas around 15 percent.

Germany aims to make renewable energy meet 80 percent of power demand by 2030 by expanding wind and solar power infrastructure.

(With input from agencies)

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