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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.
ON, which owned or had a stake in 12 of the country's 19 nuclear reactors which were operating then. ON spun off Uniper, which was to take over all its nuclear assets in 2016, but in the event left German nuclear plants with E. Uniper includes stakes in Swedish nuclear plants.) RWE has equity in the following nuclear plants: Gundremmingen 75%, Emsland 87.5%.
Vattenfall has equity in the following German nuclear plants: Brokdorf 20%. En BW has equity in the following nuclear plants: Neckarwestheim 100%, Phillipsburg 100%.
Germany’s electricity production in 2016 was 648 TWh, with demand of 595 TWh and net export of 54 TWh.
Many of the units are large (they totalled 20,339 MWe), and the last came into commercial operation in 1989.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.Long drawn-out "consensus talks" with the electric utilities were intended to establish a timetable for phase out, with the Greens threatening unilateral curtailment of licences without compensation if agreement was not reached.All operating nuclear plants then had unlimited licences with strong legal guarantees.
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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.