Extending life of German NPPs ‘might make sense’

9 August 2022

Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz has hinted that the life of the country's nuclear power plants might be extended as reduced gas flows from Russia increase the likelihood of winter fuel crisis.

During a visit on 3 August to Siemens Energy in Mülheim an der Ruhr, chancellor Scholz was asked what he would say to European partners calling on Germany to keep its nuclear plants running. He is reported to have answered that the three plants only account for a small proportion of Germany’s total electricity supply, but that “it still it might make sense” to let them run for longer. The plants are scheduled to shut down at the end of this year.

He suggested that some states, namely Bavaria, might need to let their nuclear plants continue operating because they are lagging behind when it comes to developing renewables.

The threat of a Russian gas shutoff has led to a renewed debate about delaying the phase-out of nuclear power. While the smallest of the three governing parties, the liberal Free Democrats, wants the plants to run for longer, the Greens have always strongly opposed such a move. However, recently Green leaders are reported to have signalled a softening of their attitude.

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