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The companies' undertaking to limit the operational lives of the reactors to an average of 32 years meant that two of the least economic ones – Stade and Obrigheim – were shut down in 20 respectively, and the one non-operational reactor (Mülheim-Kärlich, 1219 MWe) commenced decommissioning in 2003.
Brunsbüttel was shut down in 2007, as was Krümmel, apart from a few weeks operation in 2009.
In June 2000 a compromise was announced which saved face for the government and secured the uninterrupted operation of the nuclear plants for many years ahead.
The agreement, while limiting plant lifetime to some degree, averted the risk of any federally-enforced plant closures during the term of that government.
These comprised four operating VVER-440s, a fifth one under construction and a small older VVER reactor. ON’s “power generation in and outside Europe and global energy trading,” but “E.
In 2000 the European Commission approved the merger of two of Germany's biggest utilities, Veba and Viag, to form E. ON has equity in the following nuclear plants which from January 2016 are managed by its subsidiary Preussen Elektra: Gundremmingen B&C 25%, Grohnde 83.3%, Brokdorf 80%, Isar 2 75%, Emsland 12.5%. ON will retain responsibility for the remaining operation and dismantling of its nuclear generating capacity in Germany and not transfer it to Uniper” as originally envisaged.
(See later sections.) Responsibility for licensing the construction and operation of all nuclear facilities is shared between the federal and Länder governments, which confers something close to a power of veto to both.
This picture changed in 2011, with the operating fleet being reduced to nine reactors with 12,003 MWe capacity, and then to eight reactors with 10,728 MWe.
It is to ignore the fact that wind and solar power impose costs on the entire energy system, which go up more than proportionately as they add more." The country's 17 nuclear power reactors, comprising 15% of installed capacity, formerly supplied more than one-quarter of the electricity (133 TWh net in 2010).
Many of the units are large (they totalled 20,339 MWe), and the last came into commercial operation in 1989.
The most immediate effect of this change of policy was to terminate R&D on both the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor and the fast breeder reactors after some 30 years of promising work, since much of the work was in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was governed by the SPD.
A Christian Democrat (CDU) federal government then maintained support for existing nuclear power generation nationally until defeated in 1998.Generating capacity at the end of 2014 was 198 GWe comprising 12.1 GWe nuclear, 11 GWe hydro, 39 GWe wind (0.6 GWe offshore), 38 GWe solar, and 97 GWe combustible fuels (IEA figures).