Germany to continue nuclear power plants
Bundestag decides nuclear power plant lifetime extension
The Bundestag has approved the temporary continued operation of the last three German nuclear power plants to secure the power supply. Before the vote, there was a heated debate in Parliament.
The Bundestag has decided to extend the service life of the three remaining German nuclear power plants. The Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland kilns are to remain in operation until April 15 next year.
In a roll-call vote, 375 MPs voted in favor of amending the Atomic Energy Act, 216 voted against and 70 abstained, as Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) announced. 661 votes were cast.
Greens and SPD: No new fuel rods for continued operation
Before the final vote, the members of the Bundestag had delivered a heated debate. Representatives of the Greens made it clear that the party was struggling with the extension of the term, which was limited to a few months – but that the nuclear phase-out would not be shaken. No new fuel rods are to be procured for continued operation – representatives of the Greens and SPD in particular emphasized the phase-out of nuclear power.
Bundestag agrees to longer nuclear power plant duration
Three nuclear power plants in Germany should run longer – but not all the time at full capacity. That was decided by the Bundestag. The debate revealed clear rifts.
The Bundestag has cleared the way for the continued operation of three nuclear power plants until April 15 of the coming year. In view of the energy crisis, Parliament decided on Friday to make appropriate changes to the Atomic Energy Act.
Dispute in the traffic light – up to the power word
Actually, the last three power plants Isar-2, Neckarwestheim-2 and Emsland in Lingen should go off the grid on December 31 for the exit from nuclear energy in Germany. The question of extending the term had led to a sharp dispute between the FDP and the Greens in the traffic light coalition. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) then decided, citing his policy competence.
In a roll-call vote, 375 MPs now voted for the amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, 216 voted against, 70 abstained, as Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) announced. 661 votes were cast.
Before the final vote, the members of the Bundestag engaged in a heated debate.
How do the parties feel about this?
Representatives of the Greens made it clear on Friday that the party was struggling with the extension of the term, which was limited to a few months – but that the nuclear phase-out would not be shaken. The CDU/CSU, AfD and also representatives of the traffic light party FDP spoke out in favor of longer-term or permanent continued operation of the nuclear power plants. The Green MP Harald Ebner said that it was crucial for his party that no new fuel rods were procured. And:
For me and most of the members of my parliamentary group, the temporary expansion of power operations is unreasonable. But we expect it because the phase-out of nuclear power will remain in place.
CDU MP Steffen Bilger accused the Greens and their traffic light partners of taking a too short-term view of the security of the energy supply. “Anyone who does not now vote for the procurement of new fuel elements is accepting that Germany will have an even bigger energy problem in the energy crisis.” The stretching operation until April “does not bring enough”, his group has presented an alternative draft resolution.
Carsten Träger from the SPD confirmed the adherence to the nuclear phase-out in April. “Then Germany will be a bit safer,” he added. He will drink champagne with his family on the day the last nuclear power plant is shut down.
“The left fundamentally rejects nuclear power,” said their MP Ralph Lenkert categorically.
The FDP MP Carina Konrad let it be known that her party does not see the limited term extension as an ideal solution. In particular, FDP boss Christian Lindner had campaigned for long-term continued operation. Konrad emphasized the safety and climate neutrality of the three power plants. The extension over the winter is “a question of reason”.
Thomas Ehrhorn from the AfD explained that the Greens had long planned to sabotage cheap Russian gas supplies. It was not Russia that artificially created a price shortage, but the government. He spoke of a “crazy sanctions policy”. Germany is on the way “to the destruction of our industrial nation”. His parliamentary group had demanded the lifting of the term restrictions and funding for research into the peaceful use of nuclear energy – and that was already in the 2023 budget of 100 million euros.
What’s next after the debate?
In the last step, it is still up to the Federal Council, which could deal with the project at its meeting on November 25th. However, it is very unlikely that the state chamber will still bring down the plans.
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