Total nuclear power off: Environment Minister Lemke names the date


“It is clear that the Union and FDP favor returning to nuclear energy. Absurdly, one must say. After all, it was the Union that, under the impression of Fukushima, was not able to get out of nuclear energy fast enough in 2011.” At that time, under Angela Merkel, black and yellow shut down several nuclear power plants within a very short time, after shortly before having opted for an extension of the service life. “This zigzag course was extremely expensive for the Federal Republic. And now you want to go back? That is risky and unreasonable,” said Lemke in an interview with the news magazine FOCUS.

The debate about the lifespan of nuclear power plants has flared up again because the German government, under the impression of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the looming energy crisis, has announced two power plants about the planned phase-out date of December 31st. 2022 as an operational reserve. However, they should only be used in the energy-intensive winter months, until their fuel rods have to be replaced. It should be over by April 15, 2023 at the latest.

“Even the repository compromise would then be waste”

A dispute has now broken out in the coalition. The Liberals are in favor of longer running times and want to bring more power plants back on line, which the Greens strictly reject.

“Actually, we should reassess the risk of nuclear power plants. Because now the power plants have suddenly become a target in a war, a few hundred kilometers away from us. Going into nuclear power again in such a situation – this federal government will not do that,” affirmed Lemke, who as Minister for the Environment is responsible for nuclear safety.

“The repository compromise would then be waste,” Lemke told FOCUS. “The radioactive waste that would be produced by the two southern German nuclear power plants if the service life were extended by several years, including new fuel elements, would be considerable. We calculated that there would be an additional 250 tons of highly radioactive waste.”



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