Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has clearly rejected a return to nuclear power in Germany. Regarding the FDP's demand for a stop to the dismantling of the power plants that have just been shut down, he said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk: "The issue of nuclear power is a dead horse in Germany." When asked if this was a word of power to end the discussion, Scholz added: "I don't need to speak a word of power at all."
At its closed meeting on Friday, the FDP parliamentary group spoke out in favor of stopping the dismantling of the power plants in order to keep a return to nuclear power open. This is also demanded by the CDU/CSU. The energy policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Michael Kruse, reiterated this position after the Scholz cancellation on Saturday. "Germany should not block further options without necessity," he told the German Press Agency. "Foresighted policies should react to a shortage by expanding supply. The whole government should work on this instead of managing the shortage with subsidies."
Decision of the Merkel government
The phasing out of nuclear energy goes back to a decision made during the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). It should actually be completed at the turn of the year 2022/23. Due to the energy shortage after the Russian gas supplies to Germany were cut off, the running times were extended to April 15 after a long dispute between the Greens and the FDP and a word of authority from the Chancellor. On this day the era of nuclear energy ended in Germany.
Scholz therefore said that this was no longer a hot topic in the coalition for him. "Nuclear power is over. It is no longer used in Germany. The phase-out has taken place by law." From his point of view, conserving the shut down power plants is unthinkable. "The facts are that when the use of nuclear power came to an end, dismantling also began, and that everything that can be said about nuclear power in Germany has always been about the construction or quasi new construction of power plants." Whoever wanted to build new nuclear power plants in Germany would need 15 years and would have to spend 15 to 20 billion euros per unit.
The FDP made its move against the background of the continued high electricity costs, which are a burden on the economy and especially on energy-intensive industry. The SPD parliamentary group and the Greens are therefore calling for a state-subsidized industrial electricity price to relieve the companies particularly affected by the high energy costs. The FDP is against it and points out that the shutdown of the nuclear power plants contributed to the high electricity prices.