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Germany Weighs Keeping Nuclear Longer

Germany is reconsidering a previous decision to abandon nuclear power by the end of 2022, as concern increases that a gas-supply cut by Russia would mean a winter electricity crunch in Europe’s largest economy, according to the Financial Times (subscription).
What’s going on: This reevaluation by Germany, which in 2011 announced its decision to become the first industrialized nation to give up nuclear energy, “underscores how Russia’s escalating economic war with the west has led to a new willingness among Germany’s political class to abandon a signature policy brought in to hasten the green transition,” the Times reports. 

  • On Monday Russia’s Gazprom announced that, beginning Wednesday, gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be reduced to 33mn cubic meters, a fifth of its capacity and half of its previous delivery level.
  • It’s “the latest sign of the Kremlin’s willingness to weaponize its energy exports,” according to the Times.

Why it matters: The dwindling energy supplies have led German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his government “to take decisions that go against typical Green policy,” including keeping nuclear plants in operation. 

  • “Pressure for a rethink on nuclear has been growing within and outside the government.”

The NAM says: “Nuclear energy is critical to energy diversity and a clean energy future,” said NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Chris Morris.

  • “Germany’s decision reinforces this fact and highlights the serious risks of overreliance on energy imports—especially from unreliable partners. Policymakers in the U.S. should take serious note of both the pivotal role that nuclear energy must play in a clean energy economy and the critical nature of energy security as a whole.”
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