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Germany extends the life of the remaining 3 nuclear power plants | News | DW

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz ordered on Monday that Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants remain operational until April to fend off a potential energy crisis.

There is disagreement in the government coalition over the lifespan of nuclear power plants.

But Green Party Deputy Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday that Scholz admitted to overriding others in the Cabinet.

The Chancellor asked the Ministries of Economy, Environment and Finance to establish the legal basis for the power plants to remain open.

“Legal ground will be established to allow the operation of the Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland nuclear power plants from December 31, 2022 to April 15, 2023,” Scholz said in a statement. Said.

Scholz also asked ministries to submit an “ambitious” law to improve energy efficiency and a binding agreement to phase out coal by 2030.

Germany had planned to phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022, but an energy supply shortage following Russia’s gas cuts has sparked lengthy debate over keeping nuclear power plants ready.

Political disagreement on nuclear energy

The Greens on Friday agreed to keep two nuclear power plants in southern Germany in reserve until April, but wanted to shut down a third in the northwest Emsland region by the end of the year. The Free Democrats (FDP) pressed for all three factories to remain open until 2024.

“It is in the vital interest of our country and economy that we maintain all our power generation capacities this winter,” Finance Minister Christian Lindner of the FDP said on Twitter on Monday.

RWE, Germany’s largest power company, said it will immediately begin extending operations of the Emsland power plant until April 2022, following Scholz’s announcement.

But Ricarda Lang, Greens’ co-leader, criticized Scholz’s decision and said the Emsland nuclear power plant was “not necessary for grid stability” and its continued operation would not be necessary.

EnBW, the operator of the Neckarwestheim 2 plant in Baden-Wurttemberg, warned that the German government must provide a legal framework to expand the nuclear plant’s operations “as soon as possible” or the plant will shut down as planned. December.

E.ON, which operates the Isar 2 plant in southwest Bavaria, said in September that it would be ready to resume operations after the pressure valves were overhauled.

Germany’s nuclear exit

German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has promised that Germany will commit to a nuclear exit until the end of April 2023.

“There will be no extensions and no new fuel rods,” the Greens politician said on Twitter, following Scholz’s announcement.

Germany’s nuclear exit began in 2000 under an SPD-Green coalition government that shut down a number of facilities.

Years later, under Angela Merkel, the former Chancellor of the conservative CDU, Germany decided to shut down its remaining nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Russian war in Ukraine forced Germany to resume operation of the remaining power plants after the planned year-end phased use.

Germany had to restructure its energy mix due to a collapse in its energy supply from Russia.

Rising energy prices brought along concerns about heating and energy shortages in Europe’s largest economy during the winter months.

lo/wmr (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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