Germany to delay phase-out of nuclear plants to shore up energy security

(The Guardian, 5 Sep 2022) Last two working plants were due to be mothballed, but will be used as emergency reserve into 2023 after Russia cuts off gas.

Germany is to temporarily halt the phasing-out of two nuclear power plants in an effort to shore up energy security after Russia cut supplies of gas to Europe’s largest economy.

The economy minister, Robert Habeck, announced on Monday that the power plants, Neckarwestheim in Baden Württemberg and Isar 2 in Bavaria, are to be kept running longer than planned in order to be used as an emergency reserve until the middle of next year.

Habeck said that after a stress test carried out with four grid operators, considered worst-case scenarios, they had come to the conclusion that “hourly crisis-like situations in the electricity supply system during winter 22/23, while very unlikely, cannot be fully ruled out”.

He insisted that Germany had “very high supply security” and that the two nuclear plants should remain “on standby until mid-April 2023, in order, if necessary, to provide an additional contribution to the electricity grid in southern Germany”.

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The Guardian, 5 Sep 2022: Germany to delay phase-out of nuclear plants to shore up energy security