Germany pushes to extend the life of three nuclear power plants – letter

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  • The German Scholz orders a law for the extension of nuclear energy
  • Three power plants provide 6% of electricity production
  • Storage of the three plants until mid-April 2023
  • RWE and E.ON welcome Chancellor’s decision, EnBW calls for more clarity

BERLIN, Oct 17 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has asked the economics, environment and finance ministries to put in place the legal framework to keep the country’s three nuclear power plants in operation until September. April 15, 2023, according to a letter seen by Reuters. In Monday.

Germany had planned to complete the phase-out of nuclear power by the end of this year, but a collapse in energy supplies from Russia due to the war in Ukraine prompted the government to maintain two power plants Standby.

Prolonged disagreements within the ruling coalition government over the merits and drawbacks of nuclear power have delayed the implementation of a bill to put the two plants in reserve beyond their scheduled disposal in the end of this year.

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In addition to the Isar II and Neckarwestheim II power stations already included in the bill, Finance Minister Christian Lindner pushed to keep a third power station, Emsland, operational, which Economy Minister Robert Habeck – whose Party green is historically anti-nuclear – accepted. at.

The three plants have an electrical capacity of 4,300 megawatts (MW), contributing 6% of Germany’s electricity production this year.

“I would request that the relevant proposed regulations be presented to cabinet as soon as possible as part of the allocation of responsibilities,” Scholz wrote in the letter dated Monday.

Scholz also asked ministries to introduce “ambitious” legislation to increase energy efficiency and enact an agreement to phase out coal by 2030.

Lindner welcomed the Chancellor’s request, saying the legal framework could be created immediately.

“It is in the vital interest of our country and its economy that we maintain all our energy production capacities this winter. The Chancellor has now created clarity,” Lindner tweeted on Monday.

The Economy Ministry declined to comment, while leaders of the Greens parliamentary group said Scholz’s decision to shelve the Emsland plant was “unfortunate and had no factual basis or technical”.

“We will now discuss with our parliamentary group how to handle the Chancellor’s decision,” Greens leaders Katharina Droege and Britta Hasselmann said in a statement.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said Monday’s decision brought clarity, but reiterated that the nuclear phase-out would continue as there would be no life extension beyond mid-April next year or new fuel rods.

RWE (RWEG.DE), which operates the Emsland power station, welcomed the decision, saying it brought planning clarity and certainty.

“We will now immediately make all necessary preparations to allow electrical operation of the Emsland power station until April 15,” a company spokesperson said.

E.ON (EONGn.DE), which manages Isar II, reiterated its position from September, backing the life extension.

EnBW (EBKG.DE) said it took note of the decision but needed more clarity as soon as possible, adding that it would have to close its Neckarwestheim II plant by the end of the year unless the government creates a legal framework.

Frankfurt-listed shares of E.ON, RWE and EnBW all rose between 1.2% and 2.2% at 1728 GMT.

Klaus Mueller, the head of the country’s network agency, said Scholz’s request was a “smart compromise”.

Environmental Action Germany said the continued operation of nuclear power plants was unnecessary and dangerous, calling on parliament to reject the Chancellor’s proposal.

“With her solitary decision, the Chancellor simply wants aging reactors to be declared ‘safe’ by law,” said group director Sascha Mueller-Kraenner.

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Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Riham Alkousaa, Holger Hansen, Christian Kraemer, Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Written by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Victoria Waldersee, Jan Harvey, Grant McCool and Tomasz Janowski

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