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RWE boss considers debate about lifetime extensions to be backward


Should nuclear power plants run longer in Germany? According to the boss of the energy company RWE, the term debate comes “too late”. Instead, Germany must expand the gas infrastructure.

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RWE boss Krebber: "We have to take care of the things that really solve the problems."

Photo: Thilo Schmuelgen / REUTERS

Should the German nuclear power plants run longer?

The head of the energy group RWE, Markus Krebber, considers the discussion about a possible extension of the service life of the German nuclear power plants to avert energy bottlenecks to be backward-looking.

"I'm a little surprised about the debate, especially about the timing," Krebber told the "Welt" broadcaster.

This comes “too late”.

According to current nuclear law, the remaining reactors in Germany must be taken off the grid by the end of December at the latest.

Against the background of the reduced gas supplies from Russia and possible bottlenecks in the supply, coal-fired power generation is currently being discussed in order to conserve gas reserves.

But there are also demands to consider extending the life of nuclear power plants.

Krebber said that the fuel rods required for the nuclear power plant could not simply be bought from just anywhere, they had to “fit the reactor type exactly”.

In addition, it is not only about the level of availability of fuel rods, but also about the "question of the safety architecture, the safety checks and who assumes which risks".

The RWE boss said the discussion about nuclear power was going nowhere.

“We have to take care of the things that really solve the problems.

Build gas infrastructure, save gas.« In addition, emergency plans would have to be drawn up and the energy transition accelerated.

"We have to bring the new technologies on board and not have discussions about whether something will run for a month longer." It's about future issues and not about looking "backward".

In the meantime, the energy company Eon wrote a letter to the employees of the nuclear subsidiary Preussenelektra, asking them to understand that the group was no longer operating its nuclear reactors.

"The federal government has examined the contribution that the remaining nuclear power plants can make to solving the current energy crisis and, after weighing it up, has come to the decision that nuclear energy should not be part of the solution," quoted the "Rheinische Post" from the Letter from Eon boss Leonhard Birnbaum to the workforce.

»We have to respect this decision.«

"I can imagine that one or the other of you had hopes that nuclear energy would continue for a while as an interim solution," the Eon boss continued.

Eon's last nuclear reactor Isar 2 will go offline at the end of the year.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-06-22

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