E.ON has “no plans” to extend Bavarian nuclear power plant runtime, but is “open to discussion”
Energy company E.ON has said it is “open to discussions” about a possible runtime extension of its Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Bavaria, should the “stress test” currently being conducted by the government lead Germany to reassess the facility’s need for supply security, public broadcaster BR reported. However, CEO Leonhard Birnbaum said that E.ON has “no plans for continued operation of any kind. We also do not know the framework conditions for such continued operation. We have no figures on this. We have not made any calculations either.” The government is currently using the stress test to assess whether power grid stability could be at risk over the coming winter and whether nuclear power is needed in such a situation.
Germany is currently aiming to shut down its last three nuclear plants at the end of this year, but the debate about prolonging their use has gained new momentum. Worries about a gas shortage have increased in recent days due to Russia cutting deliveries further. The extent to which nuclear power could help in the current crisis is hotly debated, as only a small share of gas is used in power production – it is mostly used for heating buildings and in industry – and flexible gas power plants are often only used to provide electricity during certain peak demand periods, which nuclear plants cannot do. However, some stakeholders emphasise that every kilowatt hour of saved gas counts, and others argue that nuclear could be necessary to provide grid stability in winter.