CDU boss Friedrich Merz has called on the federal government to immediately procure new fuel rods for the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany. “The federal government must now seek new fuel rods,” Merz told the newspapers of the Funke media group on Wednesday. Not only a temporary stretching operation with old fuel rods can be maintained. “We have to allow continued operation until the risk of a bottleneck has been eliminated.” The time to order new fuel rods is running out. Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) must act now to avoid a power shortage in winter.
The last three German reactors actually have to be shut down by December 31st. During stretching, the nuclear power plants would first be throttled so that they can then be operated with the existing fuel rods beyond the turn of the year. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to wait for the results of a second stress test on the security of the power supply before making any decisions, as a government spokeswoman said on Monday. Results should be available in the next few weeks.
Greens boss Ricarda Lang confirmed in the “Tagesspiegel”: “We will not have an extension of the running time.” However, she did not rule out a stretching operation. “We’re going to do the stress test for electricity again. Of course we’re looking at the results, but as of now there’s nothing to suggest it,” said Lang.
The FDP energy politician Michael Kruse had brought an extension of the operating times of German nuclear power plants until spring 2024 into play. He called for a summit in the Chancellery. “The federal government should clarify how maximum safety can be guaranteed and whether new fuel elements are needed in the short term in individual cases in a nuclear energy summit with the operators and industry associations,” Kruse told the “Tagesspiegel”.