Despite the energy crisis in Germany, the Socialist government of Olaf Scholz confirmed that the objective of proceeding with the "nuclear blackout" on April 15, when the last three plants will be switched off and there will be no more nuclear energy in the German energy matrix, will be maintained.
The shutdown was planned by then Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2012, following the catastrophe in Fukushima after Japan was hit with an earthquake and tsunami. Although the circumstances surrounding that incident would never occur on German soil, she used the opportunity to launch a plan for a green economy without nuclear power.
The plants were due to be shut down last December 31, but a three-and-a-half month delay was approved in 2022 to give the government more time to get them replaced. Ultimately, Scholz got the worst alternative in terms of environmental care: gas and oil will be imported from Iraq and Qatar.
It is important to clarify that nuclear power generation produces 0 (zero) greenhouse gases and its environmental impact is null, and there is only contamination in case there is a serious failure in the system, as has only happened in Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011), the first caused by the bureaucratic negligence of a communist nation and the second by the consecutive blow of an earthquake and a tsunami.
The Environment Minister, the green Steffi Lemke, ratified to the press that despite all the benefits of nuclear energy, this time there will be no new extension or standby situation for such plants, and they will be completely disconnected and dismantled.
"The risks of atomic energy are uncontrollable," the minister added, lying through her teeth. "Betting on the development of renewables will, in the long run, be the best way to guarantee price stability in the sector," she assured.
The decision affects Germany's last remaining nuclear power plants after the Merkel government's massive decommissioning. They are Isar 2 and Neckar 2, in the south of the country, and Lingen, in the center.
The decision was enacted by the Green Party, part of the government coalition, which made the end of the nuclear era in Germany its campaign warhorse, which can only be explained by the lobby of large renewable energy companies.
The liberals of the FDP, minority partner in the government, had tried to keep the three plants in operation or in reserve until 2024 or until the end of the war in Ukraine, but without success.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany had lost a vital supply of Russian gas through Nord Stream; a response by Putin to Western sanctions. Quickly, Scholz set out to look to the Middle East and Norway for alternative gas supplies, relying on nuclear power to fill this gap until he succeeded.
After signing with the Qatari monarchy and the Iraqi government, the latter three plants were by the end of 2022 providing barely 6% of total electricity consumption, but are seen as critical to ensuring security of supply.
But inexplicably, the Greens agreed to increase coal mining in order to achieve the supply that would allow the nuclear plants to be switched off. The "coal blackout" was consequently moved from the period 2022-2030 to 2030-2038.