Three of Germany’s nuclear power facilities will now operate until as late as 15 April of next year, according to a decision made by the German government. According to reports, Chancellor Olaf Scholz instructed the ministries of the economics, environment, and finance to draft legislation that would allow the three nuclear power reactors to continue operating. The three plants, which have a combined capacity of 4.3 GW, produce 6% of all the power produced in Germany.
The nation had previously intended to stop all nuclear energy production by the end of this year, shutting out the possibility of extending its nuclear programs’ lifespan. Despite this, the government has been compelled to keep two of its nuclear units on standby due to Russia’s intention to restrict electricity supplies. After much discussion among the ruling coalition government, the decision to lengthen their life span was made. A draft law that would have allowed two plants to be placed on reserve after their planned phase-out date was set is believed to have been postponed as a result.
The draft bill includes the nuclear power plants Isar II and Neckarwestheim II, but Finance Minister Christian Lindner emphasized the need of maintaining the operation of Emsland, the third nuclear power plant. RWE and E.ON, which run the Emsland and Isar II nuclear power reactors, are among those who agree with the government’s choice. EnBW stated that in order to keep operating its Neckarwestheim II plant, which is slated to shut down by the end of this year, it would need greater clarity and a legal framework to be put in place. According to reports, Chancellor Scholz asked the ministries to draft “ambitious” legislation to improve the nation’s energy efficiency and enshrine the agreement to phase out coal by 2030. This action has the support of Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who asserts that such a legislative framework could be instantly developed.