It is now certain: There will be no extension of the service life for the last three nuclear power plants operated in Germany, although, according to Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), in terms of energy supply with the have to reckon with the worst. Therefore, this decision is tantamount to a slap in the face of the German population and impressively shows that the ideology-drunk Greens are implementing their agenda by hook or by crook – the existential needs of the citizens due to the horrendous costs of food and energy interest them just as little as the risk of a blackout .
On Monday evening, Habeck announced the results of the so-called electricity stress test – which were in fact far more troubling than he was admitting given the power plants available domestically in none of the tested scenarios. From the point of view of the transmission system operators, it is important for a secure power supply in winter absolutely necessaryto use all possibilities to increase the power generation and the transport capacities – this includes the three remaining nuclear power plants.
Nevertheless, Habeck explained: “Am We are sticking to the phase-out of nuclear power, as regulated in the Atomic Energy Act.” Since a situation could arise in which there are not “enough power plants available to help stabilize our power grid”, an “operational reserve” is required. In plain language, this means that two of the three remaining nuclear power plants, namely Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim in Baden-Württemberg, are to serve as an emergency reserve until mid-April 2023 (although it will take several days to start up the nuclear power plants in such a case), while the third in Emsland, Lower Saxony, will be switched off on December 31st. You don’t buy new fuel rods.
The FDP strongly criticized Habeck’s proposals. Finance Minister and FDP Chairman Christian Lindner called for an extension of the term. There is “a lot to suggest that the three nuclear power plants should continue to operate to ensure grid stability,” he told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Group leader Christian Dürr warned against the “image”: “We have to extend the terms, otherwise there will be absurd costs for consumers.” Michael Kruse, spokesman for energy policy for the FDP parliamentary group, explained: “The results of the stress test are worth little because the assumptions are too optimistic. They are politically determined and not derived from reality.” In fact, the network operators had only taken into account in their test, for example, that the Germans would use fan heaters with a maximum electricity requirement of 2.5 gigawatts to keep their homes warm as a gas substitute in the coming winter. Rough estimates by the Prognos Institute were recently estimated at eight gigawatts.
The economist Veronika Grimm also supports the argumentation of the FDP: “Due to the price development on the electricity market, everything must be done to mobilize generation capacities that can be made available at short notice”, she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. In order to lower the price of electricity, the power plants would have to be running and not just on stand-by. “One should think about extending the life of the three nuclear power plants that are still in operation by five years.” In addition, it should be checked whether the nuclear power plants that have only recently been shut down can be reactivated.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz was critical of the planned shutdown of the Emsland nuclear power plant: “The Greens in the traffic lights in Berlin have obviously been put under pressure by the Greens in Lower Saxony to shut down the Emsland nuclear power plant against all reason. Green sensitivities seem to be more important to the Scholz government than the risk of a power outage. I have absolutely no understanding for such a roulette game with our energy supply,” he told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. He calls on the traffic light government to “extend the service life of the three nuclear power plants still on the grid beyond the turn of the year, to have fuel rods ordered and to change the Atomic Energy Act”. CDU economics expert Jens Spahn also criticized: “The party ideology is above the interests of our country – that is the principle of the Greens and thus this traffic light.” As well as from CDU SME boss Gitta Connemann: “Germany needs every kilowatt hour!” CSU chairman Markus Söder tweeted: “It is a decision against all reason and to the detriment of our country.”
Despite the explosive situation, the SPD and the Greens are sticking to the nuclear phase-out and categorically rejecting a nuclear power plant lifetime extension. Obviously, neither energy security nor price containment is a priority for these governing parties. It could also be difficult to switch on the two nuclear power plants, which act as “operational reserves” in the event of power failures and bottlenecks, as they could take a week to boot up. The question arises as to whether Habeck’s plans have been thought through at all or whether he is simply looking at the situation through his “green glasses”. To justify his refusal to extend the term with security concerns is simply not credible: “You can’t play with nuclear power. A general lifetime extension would therefore not be justifiable with regard to the safety status of the nuclear power plants.” According to TÜV, the German nuclear power plants are among the safest in the world and could continue to be operated without any problems. So you can’t play with nuclear power, but with the country’s energy security and the concerns of the citizens?