Britta Haßelmann, leader of the German parliamentary group of the Green Party, strongly criticized Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder’s call for federal states to be responsible for the continued use of nuclear power plants.
The last three German nuclear power plants were shut down late Saturday evening.
Söder was against the move and told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he wants to continue to operate plants such as the Isar 2 shutdown under state responsibility, and called on the government to amend the atomic energy law.
“Bavaria is… demanding that the federal government assign the federal states responsibility for the continued operation of nuclear energy. As long as the crisis [in energy supply due to the Ukraine war] it’s not over and the transition to renewables hasn’t succeeded, we have to use every form of energy until the end of the decade,” he said, adding that Bavaria is ready.
However, this is considered politically impossible and would mean legislative and permitting processes as well as technical preparations which would probably take a year or more and would be too late for next winter.
The governing German tripartite coalition, including the Greens, will almost certainly not accept this. Incidentally, the question of the final storage of nuclear waste that continues to be produced in Bavaria should be clarified separately.
In the nationwide search for a final repository for nuclear waste, Bavaria has already rejected the idea of storing it on its own territory.
“Söder’s statements are a transparent maneuver for the election campaign,” Haßelmann told dpa on Sunday. Bavaria, in the energy-hungry south, will hold state elections in October.
The Atomic Energy Act has mandated the decommissioning of nuclear power plants since 2017.
“If Söder now wants to prevent or delay the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant, it needs to be examined whether this does not trigger liability actions against the Bavarian Environment Ministry,” he said.
“Certainly you have to expect some seriousness from Markus Söder.
“Instead of engaging in retrospective debates, Söder would do well to finally scale up the expansion of wind energy and electricity grids in Bavaria now and finally take responsibility for finding a final storage site for nuclear waste.”