Berlin may expand use of nuclear power – minister

The current energy crisis forces Germany to cancel a long-planned shutdown of its nuclear power plants

Germany could be forced to continue using two of its three remaining nuclear power plants due to the electricity supply crisis and potential power generation shortages, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Tuesday.

“We are already in a situation where the stress test indicates that it may become necessary to use nuclear energy for grid security,” he said at a climate conference in Berlin.

Germany shut down half of its nuclear power plants in December 2021 as part of the national plan to phase out nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Under the original plan, Berlin had plans to cut atomic power completely by the end of the current year, when the country’s three remaining factories in Neckarwestheim, Essenbach and Emsland close.

Earlier this month, German authorities agreed to keep two of the three factories in reserve beyond the end of this year, canceling a long-planned shutdown of the facilities.

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Germany closes half of its nuclear power plants amid energy crisis

The energy crisis across the EU has been largely caused by skyrocketing natural gas prices due to sanctions Western allies imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

At the end of August, Berlin approved a series of measures aimed at reducing energy consumption in winter, including limiting the use of lighting and heating in public buildings. The authorities have also encouraged citizens to save energy by all available means.

The German government has also pledged 67 billion euros ($66.9 billion) in funding to help utility companies struggling to cope with soaring energy prices. Berlin last week agreed to nationalize Uniper, the country’s biggest importer of natural gas, as part of efforts to keep the industry afloat.

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