12 Nov 2021, 13:37
Edgar Meza

German nuclear power operators reject calls to keep running plants longer


The operators of Germany’s six remaining nuclear power stations, utilities E.ON, RWE and EnBW, have rejected calls to keep the plants in operation beyond their scheduled shutdowns at the end of next year, reports financial daily Handelsblatt. "To start a debate in Germany shortly before shutdown about whether nuclear power plants make an important contribution to climate protection is disconcerting," E.ON CEO Leonhard Birnbaum told the newspaper. “It comes much too late and doesn't help anybody.” He added: “The legislature decided years ago that nuclear power has no future in Germany. Continuing to operate our nuclear power plants beyond the statutory deadline of 2022 is not an issue for us, and it stays that way." RWE also told the newspaper it considered the "chapter nuclear energy closed”.

Georg Stamatelopoulos, who is in charge of EnBW’s renewable generation infrastructure, said: “The phase-out from nuclear energy was decided in 2011 by political and social consensus and clearly regulated by law. The use of nuclear energy for electricity production is now a thing of the past in Germany." After the decision to exit nuclear power generation, EnBW worked out a long-term strategy to dismantle its power plants, which it has consistently implemented since then, Stamatelopoulos added. "The question of extending nuclear power plants' operating times and other hypothetical questions in this context therefore do not arise for EnBW." RWE also said it will shut down its two remaining plants in accordance with the deadlines. "After that, it's all about the safe and responsible dismantling of the plants," the company said.

On the sidelines of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Germany and four other EU member states on Thursday called for a nuclear-free EU taxonomy for sustainable investments.

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