Comments attributed to E.ON chief executive Wulf Bernotat indicate that the life of Germany's nuclear plants would be extended under a conservative government.
The comments follow a political defeat for the ruling red-green alliance that has prompted Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to call for snap polls this autumn. The conservatives led by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are widely expected to win any such election.
In 2001, German utilities signed an agreement with the government to limit the average operating life of nuclear plants to 32 years which will see the country's 19 nuclear power plants phased out over the next 20 years.
Bernotat reportedly said he would expect a CDU-led government to allow nuclear plants to remain operational for as long as their safety was assured, an opinion which echoes comments from senior CDU poilticians.
However, Bernotat has said that there is no chance of constructing new nuclear plants in Germany.