German minister rules out keeping nuclear plants running to save gas

Germany’s Minister for Economy and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, speaks at a press conference on the future use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. (Lisi Niesner/File Photo/Reuters)

BERLIN—Germany’s Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Sunday denied extending the life of the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants to save gas, saying it would save at most 2% in gas usage. Stated.

These savings were not worth resuming the debate on moving away from nuclear energy.

After a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, the plant is set to shut down by the end of the year under legislation introduced by former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

“Given what we can save, it’s the wrong decision,” Habek said.

But Habeck said he would be open to extending the life of Bavarian nuclear power plants if stress tests were shown to be necessary to ensure grid stability and supply in winter. Results of the tests are expected in the next few weeks.

Southern states and manufacturing hubs rely on gas-fired power plants, have few coal-fired plants, and produce little wind power. The fact that Germany will have to supply power to France due to declining nuclear power generation is another factor.