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Debate about the lifetime of nuclear power plants continues


Nuclear power yes or no? Due to rising energy prices, the Union is calling for power plant runtimes to be extended. in the ARD– Germany trend is a majority in favor. Climate researcher Latif objects.

The debate about a possible lifetime extension of nuclear power plants (NPP) continues in view of the Russian war against Ukraine. The Kiel climate researcher Mojib Latif criticized the idea of ​​keeping the reactors connected to the grid beyond 2022. The scientist said in an interview with the newspaper “Trierischer Volksfreund” that anyone who now wants to get back into nuclear power and perhaps expand it further does not care about the environment and future generations.

According to Latif, nuclear power is the most expensive form of energy generation, for which society pays through direct and indirect subsidies. He sees a “big flaw”: the corporations raked in profits, follow-up costs would be shifted to society. The scientist was disappointed by the “shortness of breath of political action”. A long-term strategy for energy supply independent of fossil fuels has been missing for decades. The topic was already in the room during the 1973 oil crisis.

The climate researcher Mojib Latif is strictly against the generation of energy from nuclear power.

Image: dpa

Union faction wants to buy new fuel rods

Union politicians, on the other hand, have spoken out in favor of extending the terms. Your parliamentary group is now pushing for quick decisions. “We cannot wait until September” for the start of a corresponding legislative process, said parliamentary director Thorsten Frei, according to the AFP news agency. His group is “always” ready for a special session of Parliament. The next regular session week after the parliamentary summer break is scheduled to begin on September 5th.

Due to the tense situation on the energy markets, the CDU and CSU are in favor of postponing the final shutdown of the last three German nuclear reactors, which was actually planned for December 31st. They want at least one so-called “stretching operation”, i.e. continued operation with the existing fuel rods for as long as possible, but prefer the procurement of new fuel rods and an extension of the service life into 2024. The issue is controversial in the traffic light coalition.

Even about the “stretching operation” one cannot “decide at Christmas”, according to Frei. The operating companies of the nuclear power plants also need a “clear signal”. According to the information, he pleaded for the purchase of new fuel rods so that the power plants can run until 2024. In the winter after next, the situation could be more difficult than it is now. Frei referred to the significant drop in gas supplies from Russia.

Spahn: With today’s knowledge, the nuclear phase-out came too early

in the SWR interview of the week On the other hand, the CDU member of the Bundestag Jens Spahn said that he was still fundamentally in favor of phasing out nuclear power. This was decided by the federal government under Chancellor Merkel eleven years ago – in response to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. However, from a climate policy point of view, the order was wrong, “first to get out of climate-neutral nuclear energy and let the climate killer coal (…) run even longer.”

Spahn admitted: “(We) let the Greens drive us in the wrong direction in the debate after Fukushima. We would have preferred to shut down the coal-fired power plants first instead of the nuclear power plants.” In the debate about longer terms, many Greens now fear for “their life’s work”. Spahn appeals:

If the Greens would move there now, they would do a great service for our country.

ARD Germany trend: majority for extension

In the current ARD-Germany trend, a clear majority of Germans spoke out in favor of the temporary continued operation of the remaining three nuclear power plants in Germany. 41 percent of those surveyed supported a continuation for a few months. Another 41 percent were even in favor of using nuclear energy in the long term.

On the other hand, almost every sixth of those surveyed wanted to phase out the civil use of nuclear power by the end of the year as planned. A majority of respondents supported the federal government’s goal of making Germany independent of Russian energy imports: 71 percent thought this goal was the right one, while almost one in four thought it was wrong.

Critics of the continued operation of the nuclear power plants state, among other things, that the power plants recently only covered six percent of Germany’s electricity requirements. An extension of the service life would also result in additional nuclear waste. There are currently three nuclear power plants still connected to the grid in Germany: Emsland, Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2. According to the Atomic Energy Act, the three youngest reactors will be shut down by the end of 2022 at the latest.

ARD Germany trend: Majority supports continued nuclear power plant operation

8/4/2022 10:34 p.m