Nuclear Power Plants
Since the beginning of the 1960s, RWE Power has been operating nuclear power stations. Currently, nuclear energy covers some 30 per cent of Germany's electricity needs. High safety standards and excellently trained personnel at Germany’s power plants make them role models at international level.
Altogether, we have an installed and operational nuclear power station capacity of some 5,700 MW at Biblis as well as Lingen and Gundremmingen, where we have an 87.5 and 75 per cent holding respectively.
Pursuant to Germany’s Atomic Energy Act (AtG), use of nuclear power is time-limited and, although we accept the primacy of politics, we do regard the phase-out of nuclear power as the wrong route to take. Using the power quantities defined for the various plants by today’s legal situation, we can operate our Biblis nuclear power plant until about 2012 and our most recent nuclear power plant in Emsland until at least 2020 to produce low-cost base-load electricity.
One of our central commitments is adherence to the high safety standards in force at our facilities. In this connection, we do not merely rely on inspections and retrofitting. Our workforce, too, is making a crucial contribution toward safe operations at our nuclear power plants. Training and further education, know-how retention and transfer as well as a professional dialogue are very important to us. Of course, our responsibilities also include waste disposal issues. Pending provision of a permanent storage facility by the federal government in the year 2030, our spent fuel elements are safely stored at our power plant locations. A first store for the Emsland plant has already been commissioned.
Last, but not least, our nuclear power stations crucially help avoid some 40 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum. This is equivalent to approx. 5 per cent of Germany's total annual CO2 emissions.