More controversies about nuclear phase-out – Merz: Black day for Germany

More controversies about nuclear phase-out – Merz: Black day for Germany

More controversies about nuclear phase-out – Merz: Black day for Germany

Cooling tower in Lingen illuminated with anti-nuclear slogan

Cooling tower in Lingen illuminated with anti-nuclear slogan


Shortly before the final nuclear phase-out on Saturday, the various camps reaffirmed their positions. CDU leader Friedrich Merz spoke of a “black day for Germany”, CSU chairman Markus Söder of a “sad chapter in German energy policy”. The Greens, on the other hand, emphasized that the nuclear phase-out was “a gain in security”. From the FDP came regret that the terms of the three remaining Akw were not extended again.

Merz told NDR Info on Friday: “Tomorrow is a bad day.” It cannot be that Germany takes three nuclear power plants off the grid, which are the safest in the world. No other country is reacting to the Ukraine war and the aggravated energy supply situation like Germany, he criticized.

In this context, Merz referred to the more than 400 nuclear power plants in operation and 60 under construction worldwide: “The question arises: ‘Who is actually driving the wrong way here?'”

Söder criticized the shutdown of the nuclear power plant as an “absolute wrong decision”. “While the whole world is considering how to expand its energy portfolio in these energy crises, we are doing exactly the opposite,” said the Bavarian Prime Minister on RTL/ntv’s “Frühstart” program. He accused the FDP of “weakness” in this context. The liberals actually think differently, but have “no power” to change that.

The nuclear power plants Isar 2, Neckarwestheim and Emsland will go offline on Saturday. They recently contributed only a small part to the generation of electricity. Actually, the nuclear phase-out should have taken place at the turn of the year; However, because of the energy crisis, the federal government decided to postpone the shutdown by three and a half months.

The shutdown process should be completed by midnight on Saturday. Isar-2 operator PreussenElektra will start the shutdown process on Saturday evening from around 10 p.m., RWE at the Emsland power plant “in the course of the evening”. EnBW has not yet been able to give a time for Neckarwestheim.

FDP parliamentary group leader Lukas Köhler demanded that the last three nuclear power plants should “at least remain operational so that they can be reactivated as quickly as possible if the worst comes to the worst”. It would have made sense to “extend the term for another year”. But there was no majority in the coalition for this, he regretted.

The leaders of the Greens, Britta Haßelmann and Katharina Dröge, said: “Nuclear power is expensive, it is dangerous and it is yesterday’s technology.” The future of energy is renewable and climate-neutral, it is decentralized and “in the hands of the people”. Renewable energies have long been vastly superior to Atom in terms of climate protection, cost-effectiveness and technological maturity.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) wrote in a guest article for the Berlin daily newspaper Tagesspiegel: “We simply don’t need nuclear power. There are better alternatives.” Lemke referred to the problem of disposing of nuclear waste. It is an “expensive task of the century” to find the location for a safe repository.

Lemke calculates that another 30,000 generations will have to live with nuclear waste. That is “unimaginably long and it is beyond me how one would classify such a technology as sustainable”.

The environmental policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Carsten Träger, called the nuclear phase-out a “change in energy policy”. The expansion of renewable energies is “a unique success story” and is to be further accelerated this year.

From the point of view of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the expansion of new capacities is “still too slow”. With the shutdown of the last nuclear power plants, “Germany is reducing its technology mix for power generation in times of an ongoing energy crisis,” explained BDI Managing Director Tanja Gönner.

AfD boss Alice Weidel demanded that the federal government “stop the imminent phase-out of nuclear energy”. The coalition should “listen to its own citizens,” said Weidel, referring to surveys, according to which the majority of Germans reject the exit.


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