Coalition dispute over longer nuclear lifespans continues to smolder

Coalition dispute over longer nuclear lifespans continues to smolder

Nuclear power plant Neckarwestheim 2

Leading Green politicians vehemently reject calls for an extension of the term.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin In the struggle for a way out of the energy crisis, the dispute over a longer use of the last German nuclear power plants in the traffic light coalition continues to smolder. Leading Greens politicians vehemently rejected calls for an extension of the term – from the FDP on the other hand, there were calls for a quick order for new fuel rods. The opposition Union also demanded that the three remaining reactors continue to operate beyond the shutdown planned for the end of the year. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) underlined Germany’s climate protection goals despite the aggravated crisis due to the Ukraine war.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) accused advocates of longer nuclear power plant terms of lack of objectivity. “First of all, nuclear power is a high-risk technology and some statements are just too playful for me,” he told the editorial network Germany (Saturday). “The fact is: We currently have a gas problem, not an electricity problem. This “Let’s keep it running, then everything will be fine” is neither in relation to the cutbacks in safety standards that we would have to accept, nor is it appropriate to the situation.”

Green Party leader Ricarda Lang criticized nuclear power as not the right way to become independent of Russian gas supplies. Germany has a problem with thermal energy, not with electricity generation, she told the news portal t-online. New studies assumed that nuclear power could only replace less than one percent of electricity generation from gas-fired power plants. “It would be like putting the plaster on the wrong place.”

The coalition partner FDP again put pressure on the continued operation of the three reactors in view of the dramatic development. “We must not negligently deprive ourselves of the possibility of using this form of energy by doing nothing,” said a statement after consultations with FDP parliamentarians from the federal, state and European governments in Hanover. The federal government must “arrange now and immediately for another set of fuel elements to be ordered for the three power plants.”

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Regardless of the nuclear debate, Scholz said about the general approach to the energy crisis: “It is bitter that we now have to temporarily use some power plants that we have already shut down because of Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine. But it is only for a very short time.” The Chancellor emphasized in his weekly video message (Saturday) that everything must be done now to combat the climate crisis. It will be ensured that the expansion of renewable energies finally progresses.

District council calls for longer nuclear runtimes to be at least checked

To face the confrontation with Russia To save gas as an energy supplier, power plants that run on coal and oil and are currently in the grid reserve should be able to return to the electricity market for a limited period until the end of winter. This Monday, the Petersberg climate dialogue begins in Berlin, which is also used to prepare for the next World Climate Conference to serve in Egypt in November.

The district council called for at least examining longer nuclear runtimes. “We live in a turning point. From my point of view, it is inappropriate to exclude forms of energy generation per se,” said President Reinhard Sager of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Saturday).

the CSUEnvironmental politician Anja Weisgerber told the “Welt”: “If every kilowatt hour counts to reduce gas-fired power generation, then it is negligent to switch off three safe nuclear power plants at the end of the year.” The CDU Economic Council referred to the already high electricity prices. “Nuclear power would stabilize the price, that’s the cheapest energy available on the market,” said General Secretary Wolfgang Steiger of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”.

More: Fear of “social ordeal”: Traffic light politicians worry about the security situation

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