EnBW destroyed its Nuclear Cooling Towers as Germany transitions to Renewable Energy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Controlled demolition of two cooling towers at a nuclear plant in Philippsburg, Germany. (EnBW)

In what should be considered as a historic event, Germany’s electric utility company Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) destroyed two cooling towers in a spectacular manner during a controlled demolition at a German nuclear plant.

The early-morning explosions were kept secret to prevent large crowds from gathering during the coronavirus outbreak. The plant’s two reactors become non-operational in 2011 and 2019 as part of Germany’s plan to transition from nuclear power. Germany’s last remaining nuclear reactor is due to be switched off at the end of 2022. A renewable energy transformer station will be built on the site where the two towers once stood.


The existence of nuclear power plants in Germany dates back to the 1950s and 60s. The first ones were research stations. The first industrialized plant was installed in 1969. Resistance to nuclear plants had begun to rise in Germany as early as the 1970s. Concerns about the safety of nuclear power plants were triggered by the March 28, 1979, nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in the US and the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear plant (now part of Ukraine) in the Soviet Union on April 26, 1986. The crash of the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011 shocked the world as well.

In 2010, Germany’s electricity sector accounted for 22.4% of all nuclear power plants. But as a result of the phase-out plans for the nuclear power plant, it fell to 11.63% in 2017, they