Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Friedrich Merz looks on as he gives a press statement in front of Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze (2966 m) before the retreat conference of the CDU party and Bavarian sister party CSU at the Zugspitze summit on September 1, 2022, during foggy weather. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

CDU party leader Friedrich Merz has warned of a power failure in winter if Germany sticks to the nuclear phase-out. “There is a risk of the power grid being completely overloaded in autumn and winter, as well as an insufficient supply of electricity,” Merz told the “Bild am Sonntag”.

If only every fifth gas customer heats with electricity this winter, the electricity demand of private households will double, said Merz. “If this government continues like this and sticks to the nuclear phase-out for ideological reasons, we are threatened with a blackout at the beginning of next year.”

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Merz called for the ordering of new fuel rods for the continued operation of at least the three nuclear power plants in Germany that have not yet been shut down: “We would have made sure by August at the latest that new fuel rods would have been ordered at least for the three nuclear power plants that are still running, possibly also for the three , which were decommissioned in the last year. This would initially provide a total of 20 million households with a secure supply of electricity.”

Because of the energy crisis, which has been exacerbated by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, there has been a debate for months as to whether the three remaining nuclear power plants should run longer, even though their power operation authorization expires at the end of the year.