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Germany can't recommend nuclear power life-span extension

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By Reuters
German ministries say cannot recommend extending nuclear plants' lifetime
German ministries say cannot recommend extending nuclear plants' lifetime   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

BERLIN -Germany on Tuesday poured cold water on hopes that extending the life-span of its remaining nuclear plants could help cut the country’s reliance on Russian energy imports, saying the costs and risks of such a move outweighed limited benefits.

Europe’s largest economy late last month floated the idea of keeping nuclear plants, the last of which are to be shut down by the end of the year, as part of its energy mix to diversify away from Russia, which delivers most of Germany’s natural gas.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Germany’s economy and environment ministries said they had looked at both short-term and mid-term scenarios to figure out whether keeping nuclear plants could make a difference.

“As a result of weighing up the benefits and risks, an extension of the operating lives of the three remaining nuclear power plants is not recommended, also in view of the current gas crisis,” they said.

Germany’s remaining three nuclear plants are operated by energy firms EnBW, RWE and E.ON.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany has mapped out changes to its energy system to cut dependence on Russian gas, which accounts for two thirds of Germany’s natural gas imports.

Alternatives are now under consideration, including more solar and wind power, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals as well as gas- and coal-fired power plants.