German govt squashes speculation on extension for nuclear plants
Clean Energy Wire / Der Spiegel
Germany will stick to its planned phase-out of nuclear power plants by the end of 2022, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, Steffen Seibert, said at a regular government press conference, squashing speculation about an extension for the remaining plants. “The exit will be executed as planned,” he said, when asked about talk about an extension among some members of the conservatives' business wing. His views were echoed by the environment ministry as well as the head of Germany’s utility association BDEW. “It is unbelievable that we are seriously talking about this,” BDEW head Kerstin Andreae told a press conference. “We are exiting for good reasons. There is no final repository (for nuclear waste), an economically viable operation is impossible and many safety questions are unresolved. None of the companies I am dealing with have any appetite for it.”
The energy spokesman for Merkel’s CDU, Joachim Pfeiffer, had told the magazine Der Spiegel, that he thought the nuclear exit decision in 2011 had been a mistake. But Pfeiffer also said that he saw no appetite for a nuclear revival in Germany, where a large majority continues to support the exit. Nuclear plant operators like RWE have also stressed they had no interest in continuing the plants. The Phillipsburg 2 plant will go offline by the end of 2019, with the remaining six going offline in 2021 and 2022.