Admin l Monday, January 9, 2023
BERLIN – Cracks may be appearing in the German government’s decision to eliminate nuclear power by April 15, as two of the partners in the three-way governing coalition appear to be at odds over the end date.
On Monday the head of the Social Democrats (SPD) ruled out extending the operation of the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants, despite a suggestion last week that experts should make that decision.
Transport Minister Volker Wissing, a member of the business-oriented Free Democratic Party, part of Germany’s coalition government, suggested that a commission of experts should decide on when the plants should be powered down.
“We don’t need any political arguments or dogmatism now, we need a professional answer to the question of how we can ensure a stable and affordable energy supply and at the same time achieve our climate protection goals,” Wissing told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
“If we don’t want to discuss it politically, then we have to clarify it scientifically.”
But SPD leader Lars Klingbeil said the plants would close on schedule.
“The debate is decided. The chancellor made that clear,” Kingbeil said after the party executive’s annual meeting. The FDP as well as the other coalition party, the Greens, accepted the current exit date, he noted.
Germany is hastening its transition to cleaner energy sources since Russian gas stopped flowing last year amid a dispute between Russia and Western countries about the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine.
However soaring energy prices and fears about possible shortages during the winter prompted renewed discussion about when some power sources should be phased out.