Cooling towers of nuclear plant demolished
Two cooling towers of a former nuclear plant located in southwest Germany were demolished in controlled explosions. YouTube screengrab

The video of nuclear power plant towers in Germany being razed to the ground following explosions is going viral. The explosions were carried out in the early morning, without public announcement of the timings to avoid crowds from gathering as there are restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic.

The two cooling towers of a former nuclear plant located in southwest Germany were demolished early on Thursday. After a pair of early-morning controlled explosions, the towers collapsed to the ground. The mission was carried out without much public attention.

Following the demolition of towers, the empty plot will be used to build a transformer station to bring electricity generated from renewable sources in northern Germany to southern region.

The announcement of demolishing the towers was made earlier by the EnBW, which claims to be the only integrated energy company in Germany that owns transmission grids. EnBW stated that nearly 500-foot tall towers at the Philippsburg plant, near Karlsruhe, would be brought down on Thursday or Friday. After the demolition, EnBW stated that the towers were demolished as early as 6 a.m. (German timing) on Thursday (May 14).

Large Gathering Prevented

The decision was taken not to inform the public beforehand as usually, such action attracts a large number of people. But this time, as lockdown orders and social distancing are still effective due to the spread of coronavirus infections, the company decided to prevent a large gathering.

The two towers located at Philippsburg were completely shut down in 2011 and 2019 respectively. The decision is a part of Germany's commitment to exit nuclear power. Currently, only one reactor is functioning and that is expected to stop operations by the end of 2022.

Three Reasons for Germany Phasing Out Nuclear Power

Germany decided to phase out nuclear power following three major disasters including Three Mile Island partial nuclear meltdown in the United States in 1979, Chernobyl disaster in the USSR in 1986, and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.

Following Fukushima disaster, Germany permanently shut down eight of its 17 reactors and took a pledge to close all reactors by 2022 end. Germany is currently committed towards the generation of electricity through fossil fuels and renewable energy.