The Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant is one of three German nuclear power plants that was decommissioned on Friday. Photo by Focke Strangmann/EPA-EFE
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Germany powered down three of its six nuclear power plants on Friday as part of its plan to end atomic power and use more sustainable energy sources.
The Brokdorf, Grohnde, and Gundremmingen C went offline while the Emsland, Isar 2 and Neckarwesthein 2 nuclear plants will be powered off by Dec. 31, 2022 at the latest.
Federal Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Steffi Lemke said that the phase-out will make the country safer and help avoid nuclear waste.
The nuclear phase-out is far from over, the Federal Environment and Consumer Protection Ministry added.
Other efforts will include the dismantling of the plants, finding a repository for high-level radioactive waste, and permanent solutions for low-level and medium-level radioactive waste.
Nuclear energy currently accounts for about 10% of Germany's electricity production.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck said that the security of energy supply in Germany is still guaranteed.
"Now it is important to push ahead with the restructuring of our energy supply," he said. "With the massive expansion of renewable energies and the acceleration of grid expansion, we will show that this is possible in Germany. "
France is also planning to scale down its nuclear energy by 2035, investing $1.137 million into the research and development of smaller nuclear reactors and renewable energies.
Belgium vowed to shut down all of its current nuclear power plants by 2025 and make way for new nuclear reactors.