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Germany wants to keep two of its three existing nuclear power plants in reserve until mid-April 2023, and plans to shut down a third by the end of the year. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the two plants could contribute to Germany’s energy security, according to load tests over the winter. The standby power plant also means Germany will disconnect all reactors from the grid in his December of this year.
“Both the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim nuclear power plants will remain operational until mid-April 2023 and, if necessary, should provide an additional contribution to the southern German grid during the winter,” he said. Habeck said in a statement. “At the same time, according to plans, this means that all three of his grid-connected nuclear power plants in Germany will be properly disconnected from the grid at the end of 2022,” he added. I was.
A third nuclear power plant in Emsland in Lower Saxony will not be included in the temporary network reserve and will be completely shut down by the end of this year.
At the press conference, Häbeck emphasized that Germany has plenty of available energy and a strong energy system to survive the winter. “We also provide electricity to our neighbors,” he said.
The previous government of conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel has already decided to end the operation of Germany’s nuclear power plants. The trigger was the 2011 nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan.
Keeping nuclear power plants running is a contentious issue for the Green Party, one of the coalition partners of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD). Economy Minister Habeck is also a member of the Green Party. Part of the coalition is the Free Democrats (FDP), while they support extending the useful life of nuclear power plants.
FDP Vice-Chairman Johannes Vogel has already written on Twitter that having two nuclear power plants in reserve is not enough and the party is still in favor of keeping all three plants running.
Scholz said in August that the government would decide on further operation of the nuclear power plant based on stress test results. The test took into account, among other things, the effects of the war in Ukraine, uncertain gas supplies, drought and the possibility of coal shipments, sufficient water to cool the reactors, and the shutdown of French nuclear power plants. rice field. The purpose of the test was to determine whether Germany would have enough energy for the winter under various development options.
Different scenarios have shown that the energy supply situation in Europe could become very strained in the coming winter. Outages could also affect Germany in the two most severe scenarios.
Worst-case scenarios can add up to 91 hours total. In such cases, some customers will have to be disconnected if they are unable to provide energy. This could affect millions of people. In such cases, nuclear reactors can help and also prevent overloading the energy system.
Habeck also said that during the 2023/2024 winter season Germany would be in a completely different situation than it is today.
German media and politicians have said parliamentary approval is required to extend the operation of nuclear power plants, as deviance from nuclear power is stipulated by law in Germany. According to Habeck, legal experts are currently investigating what legal adjustments might be required. Among other things, the Minister is counting on operational exceptions. He added that he still considers nuclear reactors to be high-risk facilities.
Video: Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia in 2015
View of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia in 2015 |.Video: Associated Press