ARCHIV - 21.07.2022, Bayern, Essenbach: Wasserdampf steigt aus dem Kühltum vom Atomkraftwerk (AKW) Isar 2. Die Bundesregierung steht zunehmend unter Druck, den Atomausstieg zu verschieben. Angesichts der Gaskrise dringen nach Recherchen der Deutschen Presse-Agentur nicht nur Parteien wie CDU und CSU sondern auch mehrere EU-Staaten darauf, die verbliebenen drei Kernkraftwerke nicht wie geplant Ende des Jahres abzuschalten. (zu dpa: "EU-Partner drängen Deutschland zur Verschiebung des Atomausstiegs") Foto: Armin Weigel/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

In the discussion about the continued operation of the last three nuclear power plants in Germany, a majority of citizens are in favor of a longer term. This emerges from the current Germany trend of the ARD.

There are differing opinions as to how long this should be the case. 41 percent are in favor of extending the operation of nuclear power plants by a few months.

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Another 41 percent are in favor of using nuclear energy in the long term. On the other hand, just under one in six (15 percent) wants to stick to the nuclear phase-out at the end of the year as planned.

While the verdict of the citizens is relatively unequivocal, there is a heated political debate about the continued operation of the nuclear power plants. The Greens in particular are opposed to this in the federal government. The opposition, above all the CSU in Bavaria, is vehemently pushing for an extension of the term.

According to the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, for example, the Bavarian power plant Isar-2 should not only be operated for three months, but until at least mid-2024. Söder said that after a visit to the nuclear power plant near Landshut on Thursday.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz said he had “great sympathy” for ordering fuel rods for at least two or maybe two to five years.

There is strong criticism of the Bavarian attitude from Berlin. As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, the federal government accuses the Bavarian authorities of being lax in dealing with the rules of nuclear safety. The newspaper quotes from a letter from the top nuclear supervisor of the federal government, Gerrit Niehaus, to the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment.

In the letter to his counterpart in Munich, Nierhaus states “that you are making an assessment of security that I cannot understand and that contradicts the principles of German supervisory practice”. One of these principles is to “rely on thorough tests and evidence,” reports the SZ.

A so-called periodic safety check would have been necessary for all three nuclear power plants as early as 2019, but this was no longer carried out due to the phase-out of nuclear energy. Bavaria had spoken out in favor of carrying out this check during ongoing operations.