The three remaining German nuclear power plants - Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland - were originally scheduled to go offline at the end of 2022. Because of the energy crisis, the coalition extended the terms until April 15. The Greens and FDP had previously argued bitterly about the right course of action - the conflict was ultimately decided by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), who, in an unusual step, referred to his policy competence.
From the FDP there were further demands to at least examine a renewed extension. However, Scholz refused. In an interview in January, when asked whether the reactors would be switched off in the spring, he said: "Yes, definitely". The legal situation is clear.
Lemke countered fears that the security of the energy supply would be endangered by the nuclear phase-out. "In an international comparison, we have a very high level of security of supply," she told the Funke newspapers. This is "significantly better" than that of neighboring German countries "with the highest proportion of nuclear power," she emphasized. The German nuclear power plants cover only a small part of the power consumption.
In the long run, "competition and more renewable energies are the best means of stable prices," Lemke was convinced. "The risks of nuclear power are ultimately unmanageable," added the minister responsible for nuclear safety.
The CDU politician Frei sees no reason for the nuclear phase-out in a month. "It's absurd to switch off the last three nuclear power plants without need and to start burning coal," he told the Funke newspapers. "The Greens are forcing Germany to go down a special path that is affecting consumers and businesses alike."
The question of final disposal of the dangerous nuclear waste is still unresolved in Germany. Lemke called for the construction of a repository for high-level radioactive waste to be accelerated. "The originally specified target of 2031 was not resilient from the start," she said. Now the actors involved are examining a concrete schedule. "It is clear that it will take longer. It is important to me that we jointly identify and use potential for acceleration."