The current three nuclear power reactors in Germany will have their lifespans extended thanks to the efforts of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who set the path for the extension. The gas standoff that began with Russia as a component of the conflict in Ukraine has reached a stalemate.

nuclear power plant in germany
[A nuclear power plant in Germany/Unsplash]

Will Germany, in accordance with the promise it made, stop using nuclear power by the end of the year? Nothing is less certain than that. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cleared the path for an extension of the operational life of the country's final three nuclear power reactors, all of which are situated in the states of Bavaria, Lower Saxony, and Baden-Württemberg.

Even though these last tranches "are only relevant for electricity production and only for a small part of it (about 6% of the country's net production, editor's note)," he argued that it "can still make sense" to keep them connected to the network instead of cutting them off as was originally planned. While the gas issue with Russia, which is part of the sanctions tied to the war in Ukraine, has stalled out, Germany is quite concerned that there will be a serious energy crisis in the coming months.

During his trip to Mülheim a der Ruhr, Olaf Scholz shared these thoughts with the audience there (west). He traveled to the industrial Siemens Energy location, which is where a gas turbine that had been recently refurbished in Canada is going to be installed in order to equip the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which connects Germany and Russia. Despite this, access is still denied on the other side of the Rhine. Berlin is under the impression that Moscow is using the turbine as a "pretext" to exert political pressure on Western nations.

The German chancellor blames Russia for preventing the supply of a turbine that, according to Moscow, is necessary for the regular operation of a gas pipeline. She says that Russia is responsible for impeding the delivery. Since the middle of July, the gas pipeline has only been providing a maximum of twenty percent of its total capacity. Olaf Scholz arrived with the conclusion that "there is no cause that would prohibit the delivery" of the turbine "from going place." He emphasized that all that needed to be done was for Moscow to "give the proper customs information for its shipment to Russia."

The one who operates from Russia Gazprom has also accused Siemens Energy on many occasions of not sending the required documentation to restart the turbine. On this issue, he was able to get the backing of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, who has strong relations to the Kremlin as well as Russian energy corporations. For his part, the German entrepreneur asserts that he has done all possible to export the equipment and that he is in negotiations with Gazprom; nevertheless, there has been no result as of yet.

The shortage of Russian gas supply to Germany has, in point of fact, raised the issue of whether or not the country should continue to run its remaining nuclear power reactors for a longer period of time than was originally envisaged. Berlin is required to make a decision on the matter over the next few weeks based on an ongoing study, which is the second of its type. Olaf Scholz has said that "we will then draw our conclusions" after the outcomes of this "stress test" have been determined.

Germany, along with a large number of other European nations, is being forced to attempt to compensate with other energy sources as the gas issue continues to linger. A highly powerful political move would be to call into question Angela Merkel's decision, made in 2011 in the aftermath of the Fukushima tragedy, to shut down all nuclear power plants in Germany by the end of the year.

The subject has nonetheless caused a rift among the governing coalition, with the Green Party harboring skepticism and the Free Democratic Party supporting the position. Olaf Scholz defended his stance by arguing that Germany need to "show solidarity" with other European nations whose own power facilities are being shut down, which was his primary justification. In addition to this, the growth of renewable energy sources in Germany has been slower than anticipated.

The Chancellor of Germany has said that there are "substantial differences" between the various regions of Germany. On the other hand, these forms of energy are meant to take the place of coal and nuclear power. "This is particularly true in Bavaria, which has made sluggish progress with the growth of wind energy," he remarked, in a jibe directed at this area, which has traditionally been headed by conservatives. "This is especially true in Bavaria, which has made slow progress with the expansion of wind energy."
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