To maintain security of energy supply, the last two nuclear power plants in Germany will be closed in April 2023 instead of at the end of this year, it was announced in Berlin on Monday.
Germany decided to stop using nuclear power after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011, and has maintained its position to this day, even in the current energy crisis. In a surprising turn of events, however, the government has now announced that it will postpone the closure of the last two nuclear power plants, suggesting that Germany has realized what other countries like Hungary have long been saying: that nuclear energy is necessary.
Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck held a briefing where he said that Germany has a very high level of security of supply, as shown by the fact that the country is an energy exporter.
However, the Green politician stressed that market and weather developments in recent months could not rule out the possibility of a winter emergency, so as a precautionary measure only one of the three remaining German nuclear power plants will be shut down at the end of the year, while the other two will be kept on standby until next spring.
At the same time, Robert Habeck remained true to himself and his green party, adding that Germany would eventually break with nuclear power generation in April 2023, and that they would stick to their energy policy turnaround. The Germans say the technology is unacceptably risky and the management of radioactive waste is a burden for generations.
The economy minister said the difficulties surrounding the operation of nuclear power plants in France also showed that Germany had “made the right decision.”
Meanwhile, in the face of the uncertain economic situation and the severe energy crisis, Hungary does not want to give up nuclear energy, which is a good alternative and now counts as a clean and sustainable form of energy in the EU.
In Hungary, the Paks nuclear power plant is currently being expanded, and the National Nuclear Energy Office has issued a construction license for the reactor building of unit 5, allowing construction work to start, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced at the end of August.
The Minister said that the building will guarantee that no harmful substances will be released into the environment from the reactor vessel and associated equipment during nuclear power generation. This will ensure that there will be no risk of radioactive contamination in the event of external natural or man-made influences or attacks.
Szijjártó also said that the National Nuclear Energy Office had recently granted the installation license, which has led to the start of work at the Paks site, where excavation of the soil is currently taking place down to a depth of five meters.
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