Berlin Doesn’t Hate Nuclear Anymore? Mixed Messages on Future of Germany’s Nuclear Power Plants

It appears that Germany no longer hates nuclear power, and will postpone the forthcoming closure of its remaining power plants amid an energy crisis that is becoming embedded into Europe’s economy as the war in Ukraine rages on.

In what could only have been a myopic impediment in failing to see that Europe’s energy policy is indeed, headed straight into a proverbial iceberg come winter, Germany has finally realized that building new LNG terminals is not going to solve anything in the short-run, and that the three remaining nuclear power plants are the only hope the country has in averting a full-blown energy shortage in just a few short months.

With Russia reducing natural gas shipments via Nord Stream 1 over various filibuster reasons, Berlin has allegedly decided to do a complete U-turn on its so-called green energy policy, which since the early 2000’s politically dictated a phase-out of nuclear power in the country. According to the Wall Street Journal which cited people familiar with the matter, German government officials have decided to temporarily delay the closure of the power plants, which were slated for phase-out come December 31.

The move has yet to be formally acknowledged by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and will likely have to undergo a vote by parliament officials. Moreover, the cabinet decision will also await the outcome of a recent assessment commissioned by Germany’s economic minister Robert Habeck, which will determine if two key conditions have been met: the country will face natural gas shortages, and extending the lifespan of the power plants will not pose a risk to public safety. “The reactors are safe until Dec. 31, and obviously they will remain safe also after Dec. 31,” a government official acknowledged.

But, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s not forget that drafting the right kind of energy policy in times of crisis is not an easy task. According to media reports, a German economy ministry spokesperson refuted the Wall Street Journal’s claims that its nuclear facilities will remain operational past the December 31 deadline, instead announcing the report “lacks any factual basis.”

Well, regardless of whatever decisions government officials are making with respect to Germany’s energy future, one thing is for certain: winter will be cold without adequate gas shipments from Russia, and will be even colder without a sustainable and reliable energy policy.

Information for this briefing was found via the WSJ. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply