Germany’s Green Party denied a report that they would support a plan to allow some of the country’s nuclear plants to continue operating beyond a scheduled phase-out date as the country faces its worst energy shortages in decades.
Bild reported that leaders of the Greens, who are part of the federal government, discussed the issue in a phone call on Thursday night – ahead of Friday’s announcement by Russia’s Gazprom – that the main natural gas pipeline to Europe will not reopen as planned.
Officials decided they could support extending the life of two of Germany’s three nuclear power plants – currently slated to be decommissioned at the end of the year – until next summer, Bild reported.
A spokesman for the Greens told Bloomberg News that Saturday’s Bild report was inaccurate and warned against what he said was speculation.
The issue is likely to come up in talks this weekend, according to Bild, which reported that Economy Minister Robert Habeck will present the results of a long-awaited report studying the feasibility of opting for nuclear power.
Both the Greens spokesman and a government official said the results of the stress test were not expected this weekend. Talks in Berlin are expected to focus on a third relief package to help German households and businesses deal with soaring energy bills.
Germany is aiming to keep reactors open as it faces an energy supply crisis caused by reduced supplies of Russian natural gas. The previous commitment to a permanent exit from nuclear power by the end of 2022 has long been a mainstay of the Green Party’s political demands.
Germany has urged citizens to reduce their energy consumption as a way to help stock up ahead of winter and last week imposed a levy on natural gas use. It is also looking to bring back some coal plants and is investing in infrastructure to bring in more liquefied natural gas.
Germany’s nuclear power plant operators, including EON and RWE, said they were open to discussing an extension with MPs but stressed the need for a quick decision.
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