21.07.2022, Bayern, Essenbach: Wasserdampf steigt hinter Sonnenblumen aus dem Kühltum des Atomkraftwerks (AKW) Isar 2. (zu dpa «Wir pachten Eure AKWs - Polen macht Druck in deutscher Debatte») Foto: Armin Weigel/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Industry President Siegfried Russwurm expects politicians to take precautions for possibly extending the operation of German nuclear power plants beyond the end of the year. “Politics and business should prepare everything for a possible temporary continued operation. And if we don’t need it then, we’ll be happy,” said the head of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) of the German Press Agency in Berlin.

It is now a matter of storing as much gas as possible and using as little gas as possible to generate electricity, even in winter, according to Russwurm. To do this, the coal-fired power plant capacities would have to be ramped up as quickly as possible.

Coal phase-out, climate change, sector coupling: The briefing for the energy and climate sector. For decision makers

Continued operation of the nuclear power plants beyond December could also help. The federal government is currently examining extended operation of the nuclear power plants. “This result must come quickly.”

With a view to the discussed stretching operation, i.e. the extended use of the current fuel, the BDI boss warned: “Time is running out.” While waiting for the results of the stress test, nuclear fuel rods would continue to be consumed. “Then the issue of stretching will take care of itself shortly.”

The debate has always been “highly emotional” and will remain so. The BDI’s concern from the start was: “Let’s turn this into a factual debate. Only that will help in the situation.”

As the “Spiegel” reports, top politicians in the Greens are against extending the lifespan of the three remaining German nuclear power plants – despite a changed mood in the population and party base.

The leader of the Greens parliamentary group, Katharina Dröge, told the “Spiegel”: “It is negligent that the CDU and FDP act in the debate about the nuclear power plants as if security issues were irrelevant. After all, it is a technology where an undetected problem can have fatal consequences.”

Immediately after the reactor catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011, a majority of Germans spoke out in favor of a final phase-out of nuclear power. Current surveys by the “Civey” institute for “Spiegel” now show that the mood in Germany has changed. A large majority of respondents are open to nuclear power again, they say. Among them are also many supporters of the Greens.

According to the survey results, around 52 percent were in favor of letting the three remaining German nuclear power plants (Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2) continue to run until the summer.

According to the news magazine, leading politicians from the Greens like Jürgen Trittin were not irritated by such results. “According to polls, we would have left in 1986 and would no longer have the problem,” said the 68-year-old politician.

As a reason for the survey results, the “mirror” gave the concern of high energy bills and a possible blackout in winter.

The Green economic politician Dieter Janecek replied: “The current energy crisis is the result of our high dependence on fossil fuels and it causes concern for people. But more nuclear power is not the answer.” The politician concluded: “You can’t drive out the devil with Beelzebub.”

Russwurm emphasized that all of this cannot be separated from the question of how quickly and stably the increased use of coal-fired power plants for electricity production that the federal government is aiming for can be achieved. Only weeks after the political decision did the first coal-fired power plant start up again. “But I’m wondering why it’s all going so slowly. Has everyone understood how serious the situation we are in?” asked Russwurm.