Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is said to have ignored the recommendations of his own experts in the traffic light dispute about extending the life of nuclear power plants. A report by the “Welt am Sonntag” states that the nuclear power plant issue was not examined with an open mind. Habeck and Environment Minister Steffi Lemke acted against the assessment of their own experts.
According to the report, Habeck’s experts spoke out internally for extending the lifetime of the nuclear power plants. But Habeck is said to have ignored that. Internal government documents that are available to the “Welt” and the “Cicero” should prove this. The ministries for economics and the environment are said to have already formulated their rejection of an extension before the result of an internal review.
As early as March 1, the working group “National Affairs of Nuclear Safety” in the Ministry of the Environment drew up a first “note” on the legal and technical hurdles to a lifetime extension. Allegedly on this basis, Habeck and Lemke are said to have made their rejection of a lifetime extension public on March 8th.
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At this point in time, however, a discussion with the operators of the nuclear power plants is said not to have taken place. According to information from the newspaper, there was only a video switch with the energy companies EnBW, E.on and RWE on March 5th, when the result of the ministerial examination was already available. The statement by Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency, only reached the Ministry of the Environment on March 9th, i.e. several days after the “note” was written.
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The operators of the nuclear power plants are said to have approved a lifetime extension. EnBW is said to have announced on March 2nd that the systems are “at the highest safety level even by international comparison” and that “continued operation can take place at this high safety level”. However, these recommendations did not appear in Habeck and Lemke’s “test note”.
“As a result of weighing up the benefits and risks, an extension of the service life of the three remaining nuclear power plants is not recommended, even in view of the current gas crisis,” it said. That was the exact wording from the previous week.
As the “Welt am Sonntag” further reports, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Environment has calculated that the extension of the service life will bring about “a reduction of around 25 to 30 million tons of CO₂ per year in the German electricity market from 2024”. This information was deleted from the draft of the “note”, the paper said.