Keep nuclear plants open, Netherlands asks Germany — Analysis

Despite an energy crisis in both countries, it’s likely that the German facilities will close

Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten told reporters on Wednesday that he has asked German Economy Minister Robert Habeck if Germany’s last three nuclear power plants could be kept open. However, Jetten said that this likely won’t be possible.

Germany closed three of its six last nuclear power stations last year and plans to shut the other three before the end of the year. The closures will take place even after Germany voluntarily shut down the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and reduced Russian energy imports through other connections, and as renewable energy delivers lackluster results for Europe’s predominant industrial power. 

The Netherlands has announced that it will stop buying Russian gas from the Netherlands this year. The government of Groningen is hesitant about drilling in its gas-rich area, so officials have turned to neighboring countries for support.

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“I just asked them if it’s technically possible to keep the nuclear power plants open,”Bloomberg reported that Jetten spoke in An interview in The Hague. But, the minister admitted that “They’ve already taken so many measures to shut them down and there’s probably not enough fuel to keep them open a bit longer.”

The three different companies that operate Germany’s three plants have all ruled out extending the lifespans of their facilities, and although some politicians in Berlin have called for an extension, the coalition government – of which the anti-nuclear Greens are a member – have refused to entertain the idea.

Meanwhile, Germany’s industrial output has dropped precipitously, with the country posting a trade deficit in May for the first time in 30 years. Some German cities have been forced to ration water, while Bild warned Wednesday that there could be a serious problem. “gigantic gas crisis”Winter is coming.

The Netherlands is also considering drilling in Groningen. In recent years, it has increased its sea imports of liquefied gas. The Dutch also plan to open two new nuclear power plants in the 2030s, and to keep the country’s sole nuclear reactor running until 2033 or beyond.

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