16 Aug 2022, 13:34
Benjamin Wehrmann

Bavarian Greens say limited runtime extension of Isar 2 nuclear plant is viable option if necessary


Leading Green Party politicians in Bavaria have said that a limited extension of the southern German state’s remaining nuclear plant would be an option if the federal government’s current “stress test” for the country’s grid indicates this. Katharina Schulze and Ludwig Hartmann, Green parliamentary group leaders in the Bavarian state parliament, told newspaper Bild in an interview that Green Party voters in general “clearly say no to a runtime extension.” However, given the current energy crisis, and Bavaria being “the energy policy problem child of the country,” the situation might make a limited extension of the Isar 2 reactor a necessary relief for the state’s energy security. The state’s governing conservative party CSU, which has had a firm grip on the state’s government in its entire post-war history, has “delayed grid expansion and blocked the expansion of wind power,” Schulze said. “If the stress test reveals that we’ll have a supply bottleneck in southern Germany, everything is up for debate. We will then have several alternatives. A ”stretched “ operation [meaning no new fuel rods are used] for a few months would be one of them,” Hartmann said, adding that the goal to quickly end the “high-risk technology” would remain unchanged. 

The German government has been considering a runtime extension for the country’s three remaining nuclear reactors shortly after the beginning of Russia’s war on Ukraine. A first analysis found the plants that covered three percent of Germany’s energy supply in the first half of 2022 cannot make a meaningful contribution to resolving the gas supply crunch. However, the government ordered a second analysis, a so-called grid stress test, to assess whether keeping the plants in stretched operation can be of help to secure regional grid stability. The test’s results are expected before the end of August.

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