German utility EnBW has announced the final closure of the country’s oldest nuclear plant, the 357MWe Obrigheim, after 36 years of service. EnBW said the reactor was taken off the grid at 0758 on 11 May 2005. The company plans to dismantle the unit in three stages by 2023 under part of a deal to close all of Germany’s nuclear units by 2021.

Obrigheim is the second reactor to be closed since the 2001 decision to phase out nuclear power and follows the Stade nuclear reactor, near Hamburg, which is now awaiting decommissioning. Biblis A, which has been in service since 1975, will be the next one due for closure in February 2007.