Study: 15 million tons more CO2 with nuclear power plant shutdown
The last three German nuclear power plants are to be shut down on Saturday. Would nuclear energy be a good option for saving the climate? Environment Minister Lemke doubts that.
According to a study, with the planned shutdown of the three remaining German nuclear power plants next Saturday, the global climate will be burdened with 15 million tons of additional greenhouse gas CO2 emissions per year.
“It is very likely that the loss of nuclear energy will be compensated for in the short term by more coal-fired power generation and more electricity from gas-fired power plants. This has a negative impact on the carbon footprint of the German electricity sector and thus on Germany’s climate protection obligations,” said the author of the study Physicist from the University of Stuttgart, André Thess, told the “Bild” newspaper that the study was available.
Lemke: Nuclear power is not a good option for saving the climate
However, according to Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, nuclear power is not a good option for saving the climate. “Nuclear power is neither CO2-free nor is it the lowest-CO2 type of energy production. Energy-intensive fuel production in particular is harmful to the climate,” said the Greens politician to the German Press Agency (dpa). In addition, it is not robust against the climate crisis because of the enormous cooling water requirement.
The German Environmental Aid (DUH) is also questioning sustainability in view of the increasingly frequent heat waves due to climate change. “In times of scarce water, you also have to economize with water and nuclear power plants are very large water consumers,” said Federal Managing Director Sascha Müller-Kraenner of the dpa. This also refutes the argument that electricity from nuclear power plants is reliable and always available. “He just doesn’t do that.”
On Saturday, the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany are finally to go off the grid. This was actually supposed to happen at the end of last year. However, because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis, the traffic light coalition decided last year to let the three reactors continue to run over the winter.