Germany’s nuclear energy operators will proceed to decommission the nation’s final three remaining vegetation, at the same time as the federal government weighs whether or not to maintain the services operating over the winter.
E.ON, RWE and EnBW confirmed they’d not procured extra gasoline to increase the lifetime of the Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim vegetation past the tip of the yr, when they’re legally-mandated to shut.
“Based on the existing legal situation, we assume that our nuclear power plant will still have to be shut down at the end of this year,” EnBW’s finance chief Thomas Kusterer stated. “We are preparing for this accordingly.”
EnBW may solely maintain its Neckarwestheim facility operational for a “few more weeks” past 2022 on present gasoline reserves, Kusterer stated.
The German economics ministry is deciding whether or not to increase the obligatory closure date. “Whether we need fuel rods at all also depends, of course, on how long this extension will be for,” Kusterer stated. “We simply have to wait for the results and see what happens.”
The German authorities, a coalition between the Social Democrats, liberal FDP and anti-nuclear Greens, had dedicated to close down all of Germany’s remaining nuclear energy stations by the tip of this yr.
But in current weeks, the FDP has joined calls by the opposition Christian Democrats to maintain the vegetation operating past the tip of the yr, within the mild of Germany’s looming vitality crunch.
In mid-June Russia drastically diminished its gasoline provides to Germany by way of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline underneath the Baltic Sea, hampering the nation’s efforts to refill on gasoline forward of the winter heating season.
The authorities is presently conducting a “stress test” of the German electrical energy system, to see if it may proceed to operate even “under aggravated conditions”. Many politicians in Berlin imagine that it would resolve to place the nation’s nuclear exit plan on maintain primarily based on the outcomes of that check.
Markus Krebber, chief govt of Essen-based RWE, stated a selection needed to be made “politically” earlier than any extension plans may very well be put in place, “and after the decision, we will move in the direction that the politicians want”.
Leo Birnbaum, chief govt of E.ON, stated the group had been “preparing for years, from a technical and organisational perspective”, for the dismantling of its nuclear energy station and would proceed to take action until and till instructed in any other case.
The executives’ feedback got here as Klaus Müller, the official answerable for Germany’s vitality provide, performed down the significance of maintaining the nation’s nuclear vegetation operating to compensate a discount in gasoline from Russia.
“Germany imports gas as a feedstock for the chemicals industry and to produce heat. And nuclear energy doesn’t help us with either of those things,” Müller advised the Financial Times.
“We should really focus the debate on how we avoid a gas shortage. All our energies should be directed to that.”
He stated the stress check by the federal government had been designed partially as a result of southern Germany, the place the Isar 2 plant was positioned “has not made enough progress in expanding its power supply network.”