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Germany’s Environment Minister reaffirms the phaseout of nuclear power.

Speech by Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke on the draft of a
nineteenth law amending the Atomic Energy Act.

The phasing out of nuclear power, decided by a broad consensus in 2011, is coming.

Be proud, dear colleagues from the CDU / CSU , that you decided this with the FDP at the
time . That was responsible politics! Together we have settled a
decades-long social conflict. That is why this is not about Mr Trittin’s
life’s work, but about the fact that Mrs Merkel, as the responsible Federal
Chancellor at the time, implemented this nuclear phase-out in our country
with our support.

And you cannot hide the fact that you are now concerned
with reversing this decision with your draft law. With your draft law, you
not only want to enable an extension of the term until 2024, but beyond.

They want to turn back the wheel of nuclear history and that’s not going to
happen. It is irresponsible to treat this high-risk technology as if it
were a coffee maker that you turn on and off every once in a while, refill
with water, put in a new filter, and then turn it on again.

The valve leakage at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant is not a safety problem, but a
technical problem. Now we have to decide how to deal with it. In addition,
it is a mechanical problem that has been foreseeable for a long time, but
which means that the nuclear power plant will now have to be taken off the
grid in autumn, when we already have a problematic electricity situation
due to the lack of nuclear power plants in France.

The fact that this
information was not communicated to us in good time by the Bavarian nuclear
supervisory authority is something I will leave here without comment. We
will provide the necessary answers to the current energy situation. We are
driving the energy transition forward by massively expanding renewable
energies, focusing on energy efficiency and savings, and by using old
energy supply sources again this winter, thereby also enabling reserve
operation for two of the three nuclear power plants that are still in
operation if it becomes necessary.

German Environment Ministry 22nd Sept 2022

https://www.bmuv.de/rede/rede-bundesumweltministerin-steffi-lemke-zum-entwurf-eines-neunzehnten-gesetzes-zur-aenderung-des-atomgesetzes

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Operator doubts German plan to keep nuclear plants on standby

Germany plans to delay closure of two nuclear power plants amid disruption to Russian gas deliveries to Europe.

Germany’s plans to delay the closure of two nuclear plants were thrown into confusion on Wednesday, with the operator of one saying the request to keep it on standby was not technically possible as the government said it had been misunderstood.

Berlin announced on Monday that it plans to keep two out of three remaining nuclear power stations on standby to have enough electricity through the winter.

The operator of one of the plants, E.ON, said on Wednesday that it believed it is not possible to put its Isar 2 facility in reserve mode beyond its scheduled closure at the end of 2022.

“We communicated on Monday evening that nuclear power plants are not suitable for reserve power plant operation for technical reasons,” said E.ON, adding it was in contact with the government on the issue………………………………

In January, the government called nuclear energy dangerous, objecting to EU proposals that would let the technology remain part of the bloc’s plans for a climate-friendly future. Its energy plan before was to switch off its remaining three nuclear power plants at the end of this year and phase out coal by 2030.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Germany, politics | Leave a comment

German chancellor rejects calls to reverse nuclear power plant closures

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Thu 8 Sep 2022, Olaf Scholz says country has enough energy to get through winter after Russia cut gas supplies

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has rejected calls for his government to commit to a longer-term extension of the life of the country’s nuclear power plants and insisted that Europe’s largest economy would have enough energy to get through the winter.

Scholz shut down criticism from the opposition conservative alliance and at least one leading economist, who have described his coalition’s decision to keep two remaining reactors in emergency reserve rather than letting them produce electricity, as “madness” while the government refuses to reverse its long-term plan to close down the last remaining plants…………….

The crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has been exacerbated in recent weeks by Moscow’s reduction of gas supplies to Germany, which was followed a week ago by a complete halt. Moscow has cited maintenance issues linked to sanctions imposed by the west.

Scholz accused Friedrich Merz’s conservative alliance (CDU/CSU) of refusing to accept responsibility for its role in the crisis, calling it “the party which holds complete responsibility for the fact that Germany made decisions to withdraw both from coal and from atomic energy, but never had the strength to enter into anything else”. He also accused the conservatives of failing to embrace renewable energy and actively campaigning against it.

“You were incapable of bringing about the expansion of renewable energies. You led defensive battles against every single wind turbine,” he said. By trying now to save as much gas, electricity and oil as it can before winter kicks in – in part with the construction of LNG terminals and expanding renewable energy – Scholz said his government was “solving problems that the union failed to recognise as such when it was in power”.

Scholz said Germans would “rise above themselves” and deal with the coming winter with “with boldness and bravery” and said that Germany was close to its goal of becoming independent from Russian gas exports. Gas storage facilities were 86% full on Wednesday……………

On Monday Habeck had announced that two nuclear reactors would remain “on standby” supported by the necessary staff, equipment and security, but would not be producing electricity unless needed……………….

Amira Mohamed Ali, parliamentary leader of the far-left Die Linke, accused the coalition government of having “no social conscience”. She urged the government to approach Russia in an attempt to bring it to the negotiating table and end its hostilities in Ukraine.

The instability of nuclear power is one of the main reason for not relying on it, the economics ministry argued when it presented its plans on Monday. Currently only 28 of 56 plants in France are on the grid, due in part to the shortage of cooling water linked to this summer’s drought, meaning Germany has had to supply its neighbour with electricity.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany to extend last 2 nuclear power plant lifespans by a few weeks

DW 5 SEpt 22, The economics ministry has issued a recommendation to keep two of Germany’s last atomic energy stations online through the winter as Berlin scrambles to come up with alternatives to Russian gas.

Germany announced on Monday that it would likely be extending the life of two of its remaining nuclear power plants. 

Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck, whose ministerial brief incorporates energy policy, said that the plants were to be put on standby until mid-April 2023, instead of being shut down as planned at the end of the year.

Bavaria’s Isar 2 station as well as Neckarwestheim 2, which is north of Stuttgart, will act as reserve power sources through the winter.

The third remaining plant will not be needed, according to a report by the economics ministry that stress tested the three stations.

“That there are many-hour crisis situations in our power grid over the winter of 2022/2023 is very unlikely,” Habeck said on whether Germany could face blackouts as the result of a looming energy crunch.

At the same press conference, Habeck expressed his extreme confidence in the country’s energy supply following a “stress test” carried out earlier in the day.

“We have a high level of supply security,” the deputy chancellor said. “We have great grid stability.”

The move is a major about-face in German energy policy, where the government has been committed to a complete nuclear phaseout since 2011.

For two of the three parties currently in coalition, the SPD and the Greens in particular, exiting nuclear power was also a decades-long campaign platform. The SPD and Greens together ushered in Germany’s first nuclear phaseout, only for it to be overturned for just 18 months or so by former Chancellor Angela Merkel, who eventually reverted to a shutdown soon after the Fukushima meltdown in Japan…………………………..

Scientists: Too late to completely rollback phaseout of these reactors

Scientists have warned, though, that a long-term extension to the nuclear plants’ lifespan would present much more of a problem because of the extent to which the plants have already begun the decommissioning process.   https://www.dw.com/en/germany-to-extend-last-2-nuclear-power-plant-lifespans-by-a-few-weeks/a-63023953

September 6, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany rules out delay to nuclear phaseout

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

DW, 21 Aug 22, Germany won’t extend the lifespan of three remaining nuclear power stations due to the energy crisis, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. He also warned against public panic over a potential winter gas shortage.

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that allowing the country’s three last nuclear power stations to remain operational would be of little help in solving the country’s energy crisis.

Speaking during a discussion with citizens at the government’s open-door day in Berlin, Habeck said extending the lifespan of the plants — which are due to close at the end of the year — would only save about 2% of gas use.

t is the “wrong decision given how little we would save,” Habeck, who is also Vice Chancellor, added.

One nuclear plant could stay open

However, the minister said he was open to extending the lifespan of one nuclear plant in Bavaria, subject to the results of a stress test of the country’s power system.

The results of the test, to calculate how the country will cope if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies this winter, are due out in a few weeks.

Bavaria is a major manufacturing hub that depends on gas-fired power plants and has few coal-fired plants and low wind power production.

Germany has been phasing out nuclear energy since legislation was passed by former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

But voices calling for some nuclear plants to be kept in use have grown louder since energy prices soared over the past year and tensions with one of Germany’s main suppliers, Russia, intensified. The government has not signaled that it would reconsider the Merkel-era policy.

No need to panic over winter gas supplies

Habeck also told the public not to panic about the prospect of a gas shortage during the colder months, noting if households and industry cut their usage by 15-20% “then we have a really good chance of getting through the winter.” 

Even if Russia were to cut supplies entirely, there would be no situation where zero gas would reach Germany, the minister said,……….

Over the longer term, Habeck said Germany must expand its investment in renewable energies and phase out fossil fuels, which he said were the cause of many political conflicts and abuse of power………….  https://www.dw.com/en/germany-rules-out-delay-to-nuclear-phaseout/a-62880769

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany continues to close down its last remaining nuclear reactors

Germany’s nuclear power operators will continue to decommission the
country’s last three remaining plants, even as the government weighs
whether to keep the facilities running over the winter. E.ON, RWE and EnBW
confirmed they had not procured additional fuel to extend the life of the
Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim plants beyond the end of the year, when
they are legally-mandated to close.

FT 12th Aug 2022

https://www.ft.com/content/0257588e-0ebe-4696-8c4e-77f0a192b616

August 14, 2022 Posted by | decommission reactor, Germany | Leave a comment

Utility company Eon talks about possibility of delaying the closure of Germany’s last nuclear reactor

German utility Eon is open to discuss the operational extension of its 1.4
GW nuclear reactor Isar 2 as a way for Germany to secure supplies this
winter in the face of an energy crisis, its CFO said on Wednesday.

“Our last nuclear power station will go offline at the end of the year,” said
Mark Spieker, CFO of Eon, in a speech published prior to the presentation
of the company’s interim results. “If, as part of the ongoing stress
test, the federal government reassess the situation, we’re open to
discussions,” he added.

Germany is due to close its last three nuclear
reactors with a total capacity of 4.1 GW by the end of 2022, but the recent
energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred calls to
extend the reactors’ lifetimes to avoid blackouts over the winter.

 Montel 10th Aug 2022

https://www.montelnews.com/news/1341852/eon-open-to-discussion-on-nuclear-lifetime-extension

August 9, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, Germany | Leave a comment

France should “rethink the temperature thresholds of rivers”,

 Nuclear: with the heat wave, “we should rethink the temperature thresholds of rivers”, says the ASN chief inspector. The news sparked heated controversy: faced with heat records, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Ministry for Energy Transition granted an environmental waiver for four nuclear power plants: Saint-Alban, Golfech, Le Blayais and Le Blayais. Bugey.

Until July 24, these sites will be authorized to exceed the regulatory levels of water temperature discharged into the rivers and rivers in which they feed, in order to be able to operate if necessary for
the electricity network. For La Tribune, the ASN chief inspector, Christophe Quintin, discusses the reasons for this derogation, its implications and the lessons to be drawn from it.

 La Tribune 21st July 2022

https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/energie-environnement/nucleaire-avec-la-canicule-il-faudrait-repenser-les-seuils-de-temperature-des-cours-d-eau-dit-l-inspecteur-en-chef-de-l-asn-926443.html

July 25, 2022 Posted by | climate change, environment, Germany | Leave a comment

VIDEO: Germany criminalizes journalist for exposing Ukrainian war crimes

Ed. note . This video is blocked by both Twitter and Facebook. Corporate media censorship is taking over social media too.

 https://thegrayzone.com/2022/07/13/video-germany-criminalizes-journalist-for-exposing-ukrainian-war-crimes/ MAX BLUMENTHAL·JULY 13, 2022

Independent Donetsk-based journalist Alina Lipp of Germany details her prosecution by the German state for violating new speech codes through her reporting in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

As the only German reporter on the ground in Donetsk, Lipp has exposed Ukrainian forces shelling civilians, attacking a maternity ward, mining harbors, and bombing a granary filled with corn for export. She faces three years in prison if she returns to her home country.

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Germany, media, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nuclear would do little to solve gas issue in Germany

Germany’s vice chancellor has defended the government’s commitment to ending the use of nuclear power at the end of the year

Independent UK Via AP news wire 12 July 22, Germany’s vice chancellor on Tuesday defended the government’s commitment to ending the use of nuclear power at the end of this year, arguing that keeping its few remaining reactors running would be complex and do little to address the problems caused by a possible natural gas shortfall.

government officials argue that natural gas isn’t so much a factor in generating electricity as in fueling industrial processes and providing heating.

Nuclear power doesn’t help us there at all,” Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also the economy and climate minister and is responsible for energy, said at a news conference in Vienna. “We have a heating problem or an industry problem, but not an electricity problem — at least not generally throughout the country.”

Germany shut down three nuclear reactors in December and the remaining three are due to cease production at the end of this year as part of a long-running plan to phase out conventional power plants in favor of renewable energy.

In this year’s first quarter, nuclear energy accounted for 6% of Germany’s electricity generation and natural gas for 13%, both significantly lower than a year earlier. Germany has been getting about 35% of its gas from Russia.

Habeck said the legal certification for the remaining reactors expires at the end of the year and they would have to be treated thereafter as effectively new nuclear plants, complete with safety considerations, and the likely “very small advantage” in terms of saving gas wouldn’t outweigh the complications.

Fuel for the reactors also would have to be procured, and Scholz has said that the fuel rods are generally imported from Russia…………..   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-nuclear-green-party-berlin-olaf-scholz-b2121180.html

July 13, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, Germany | Leave a comment

Renewables supply nearly half of German power demand in first half 2022

 Renewable energy has supplied roughly half of Germany’s electricity
demand for the first half of 2022, new data has shown, boosting the amount
of renewables in the mix by six percentage points compared to the same
period in 2021. Germany’s Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research
Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water
Management (BDEW) said on Monday that renewables had covered around 49% of
gross domestic electricity consumption over the period. In a joint press
release, the organisations said that the main contributor to the increased
renewables output was a “significant increase” in onshore wind and
solar capacity – each generating around one-fifth more electricity than
in the same period in 2021.

 Renew Economy 6th July 2022

July 7, 2022 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Germany rules out nuclear power as an option during the energy crisis.

German Leader Rules Out Nuclear Option to Fill Energy Gaps

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says his government remains committed to phasing out nuclear power despite concerns about rising energy prices and possible future shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

By Associated Press, June 8, 2022, BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that his government remains committed to phasing out nuclear power despite concerns about rising energy prices and possible future shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Germany shut down half of its six nuclear plants in December and the remaining three are due to cease production at the end of this year as part of the country’s long-running plan to phase out conventional power plants in favor of renewable energy……………….

“We also know that building new nuclear power plants makes little sense,” he said at a news conference with foreign correspondents in Berlin.

“If someone decides to do so now they would have to spend 12-18 billion euros on each nuclear power plants and it wouldn’t open until 2037 or 2038,” said Scholz. “And besides, the fuel rods are generally imported from Russia. As such one should think about what one does.”

“That’s why the government, all the governing parties unanimously, are counting on (…) the massive expansion of renewable energy,” he added…………..

“The goal of completing the phaseout of coal in Germany ideally by 2030, and the climate targets, remain in place,” Government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said.  https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2022-06-08/germany-to-keep-more-coal-plants-on-hand-in-case-of-gas-cuts

June 9, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Germany will vote against EU plans to label nuclear power as a green investment,

Germany says it will vote against EU plans to label nuclear power as a green investment, https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/05/17/germany-will-vote-against-eu-plans-to-include-nuclear-energy-as-a-green-investment  By Kate Abnett  with Reuters – UK Online Report Business News  17/05/2022

Germany will oppose European Union plans to include nuclear energy as a sustainable investment in its “taxonomy” policy for labelling green investments, the government said on Monday.

With the bloc aiming to achieve net-zero by 2050, massive investments into sustainable energy sources are needed. The European Commission is looking to class nuclear energy as ‘green’ making it easier for states and the private sector to invest. 

Brussels is now seeking approval from EU countries and European Parliament for its plan to label gas and nuclear as climate-friendly investments. It has split opinions among states who disagree with the fuels’ green credentials.

Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, is among those planning to reject it when countries come to vote on the plan in the coming weeks.   
“The Federal Government has expressed its opposition to the taxonomy rules on nuclear power. This ‘no’ is an important political signal that makes clear: Nuclear energy is not sustainable and should therefore not be part of the

taxonomy,” Germany’senvironment ministry and its economy and climate ministry said in a statement.

Nuclear energy is not sustainable and should therefore not be part of the taxonomy.

“Accordingly, the Federal Government would vote for the Council to object to the EU Commission’s delegated legal act,” the ministries said.

A ‘gold standard’ for green investing

To reject the rules, 20 of the EU’s 27 countries must oppose it – a high threshold seen as unlikely to be reached. Germany’s stance could also steer opinion in the European Parliament, however, where a majority of the assembly’s 705 lawmakers could block the gas and nuclear rules in a July vote.

The EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy was designed to provide a “gold standard” for green investing, by limiting which investments can be labelled climate-friendly to only those that truly protect the planet.

Austria is leading a call for legal action because of “serious concerns” about nuclear energy being too expensive and slow to actually fight climate change. Officials from the country have pointed out that, whilenuclear energy generation is CO2-free, the problem of nuclear waste has still not been solved. 

The small but wealthy nation of Luxembourg is also considering legal action if the decision to label nuclear energy as ‘green’ goes ahead. 

\The plan to label gas as climate-friendly has faced criticism from countries including Spain, although some countries had lobbied hard for the taxonomy to incentivise gas investments to help them phase out coal. 

Gas emits less CO2 than coal when burned, but is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Germany to reject EU green investment label for nuclear power

 https://www.reuters.com/business/germany-reject-eu-green-investment-label-nuclear-power-2022-05-16/ , By Kate Abnett. BRUSSELS, May 16 (Reuters) – Germany will oppose European Union plans to include nuclear energy as a sustainable investment in its “taxonomy” policy for labelling green investments, the government said on Monday.

Brussels is seeking approval from EU countries and European Parliament for its plan to label gas and nuclear as climate-friendly investments, which has split opinion among states who disagree on the fuels’ green credentials.

Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, is among those planning to reject it when countries come to vote on the plan in the coming weeks.

“The Federal Government has expressed its opposition to the taxonomy rules on nuclear power. This ‘no’ is an important political signal that makes clear: Nuclear energy is not sustainable and should therefore not be part of the taxonomy,” Germany’s environment ministry and its economy and climate ministry said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the Federal Government would vote for the Council to object to the EU Commission’s delegated legal act,” the ministries said.

To reject the rules, 20 of the EU’s 27 countries must oppose it – a high threshold seen as unlikely to be reached. Germany’s stance could also steer opinion in the European Parliament, however, where a majority of the assembly’s 705 lawmakers could block the gas and nuclear rules in a July vote.

The EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy was designed to provide a “gold standard” for green investing, by limiting which investments can be labelled climate-friendly to only those that truly protect the planet.

Nuclear energy generation is CO2-free, but produces radioactive waste. Separately, Austria and Luxembourg have threatened legal action over the plan to label nuclear investments as green.

The plan to label gas as climate-friendly has faced criticism from countries including Spain, although some countries had lobbied hard for the taxonomy to incentivise gas investments to help them phase out coal. Gas emits less CO2 than coal when burned, but is also associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Germany, politics international | Leave a comment

Olaf Scholz cites risk of nuclear war in refusal to send tanks to Ukraine

Politico, BY LAURENZ GEHRKE.April 22, 2022

Chancellor pushes back against demands from Kyiv and coalition partners.  Asked what made him sure that sending German tanks to Ukraine would trigger a catastrophic reaction from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Scholz argued that “there is no textbook for this situation where you can read at what point we are perceived as a belligerent.”

“That’s why I’m not squinting at poll numbers or letting myself be irritated by shrill calls,” the chancellor added in an obvious reference to the growing criticism of his stance at home and abroad. “The consequences of a mistake would be dramatic,” he said.

The Ukrainian government has called on Western allies to urgently send large amounts of heavy weaponry to help in the fight against Russia’s invasion, which has now entered a new phase focused on the east of the country…………

Echoing remarks by Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Scholz said that instead of Berlin directly supplying heavy weaponry, several Eastern European NATO partners would deliver weapons from Soviet-designed stocks that “can be deployed without lengthy training, without further logistics, and without soldiers from our countries.”

Germany would then “gradually fill the gaps created by these deliveries … as just discussed in the case of Slovenia,” he said. https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-chancellor-olaf-scholz-nuclear-war-tanks-heavy-weapons-ukraine-russia-invasion/

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Germany, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment