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German nuclear plant suffers leak

The environment ministry stated that the failure does not pose a danger but the plant’s operations must be stopped.

A reactor leak has been detected at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant in the southern German state of Bavaria, the environment ministry said on Monday, citing the plant’s operator. The malfunction apparently poses no risk to the public, but could compromise the government’s plan to alleviate the energy shortage, triggered mainly by the Ukraine conflict.

The ministry stated that maintenance will begin in October and will last at most a week. According to the ministry, operations at PreussenElektra subsidiary E.ON will need to be stopped for that time.

Initially, the nuclear power plant was slated to go offline in late 2022 as part of Germany’s efforts to phase out atomic energy. Berlin put the reactor on standby in the wake of the current energy crisis. This is to ensure that the plant has power until April 2023, should conditions worsen.

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According to the environment ministry, it was now investigating whether NPP could be used in this regard given recent developments.

E.ON spokesmen expressed their confidence in the German government’s ability to reach a deal that would allow Isar 2 and Isar 3 to continue functioning beyond December 31.

Late August saw the government approve a number of measures to lower winter energy use, such as limiting heating and lighting in public buildings. Citizens are encouraged to conserve energy through all means, according to the authorities.

Skyrocketing prices of natural gas due to EU sanctions against Moscow for the conflict in Ukraine was the main reason Europe’s energy crisis.

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