KShortly before the planned end of the use of nuclear energy in Germany, twenty scientists and other supporters wrote an open letter to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, demanding that the last German nuclear power plants continue to be operated. The three power plants could “supply more than 10 million or a quarter of German households with electricity,” write the scientists from various fields of research, including natural, environmental and climate sciences, in the letter.
“Due to the lower amount of electricity required from coal-fired power plants, up to 30 million tons of CO2 are saved each year,” the letter reads. Nuclear energy in Germany could thus “clearly contribute to alleviating the energy crisis and achieving the German climate goals”.
The Union also sees Germany on the wrong track with the shutdown of the last three nuclear power plants. No other country is reacting to the Ukraine war and the worsening energy supply situation like the Federal Republic, said CDU leader Friedrich Merz on Friday to the radio station NDR Info. In this context, the Union faction leader referred to the more than 400 current and 60 nuclear power plants under construction worldwide.
“The question arises: Who is actually the wrong-way driver here?” emphasized Merz. “Tomorrow is a bad day; it’s a black day for Germany,” criticized Merz.
“A very sad chapter in German energy policy”
CSU boss Markus Söder said something similar: “This is a very sad chapter in German energy policy,” said the Bavarian Prime Minister on RTL / ntv “early start”. While the whole world is considering how to expand its portfolio in these energy crises, Germany is doing the opposite. “Electricity for ten million households must then be completely reorganized from Sunday,” said Söder.
Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin said on Wednesday at an event organized by the environmental protection organization Greenpeace: “At less than five percent, the share of nuclear power in electricity generation is negligible. We can do without that.” Due to their high water requirements, nuclear power plants are not a reliable source of energy, especially in times of climate change and increasing drought.
Greenpeace had examined the extended lifespan of the three remaining nuclear power plants for their effectiveness – and criticized them. According to this, the three nuclear power plants in Germany are said to have only run at 63 to 75 percent of the maximum output in the period from November 2022 to mid-April 2023. They would have produced about 30 percent less electricity than in the previous five years, according to a study by Greenpeace and the eco-energy cooperative Green Planet Energy.
“In retrospect, the lifetime extension was a bad deal,” said Carolin Dähling of Green Planet Energy on Friday in Berlin. “We have very little price savings from nuclear power plants, we have very little gas savings and we have little reductions in CO2 emissions,” she said. At the same time, many risks and increased costs were accepted. The extension of the service life was not necessary for security of supply and would have had few positive effects, she said.
Green party leader Katharina Dröge has meanwhile criticized the demands for the extension of nuclear power. “You wouldn’t get the nuclear power plants to continue running for free,” said Dröge in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. The nuclear power plants in Germany are old and no longer reflect the latest state of the art. “Letting it continue would not work without a massive additional security check, and someone would have to pay for it.”