German energy company E.On had not planned to continue operation of its Isar 2 NPP in Lower Bavaria, but has indicated that it is ready to discuss the possibility. At the beginning of the Ukraine war the federal government spoke out clearly against extending the service lives of NPPs in Germany, E.On CFO Mark Spieker noted on 10 August, adding that a political decision was taken not to resort to this option. “We respect this decision,” he said.
E.On has been preparing for years technically and organisationally for the decommissioning and dismantling of NPPs. However, Spieker continued: "Should the federal government come to a reassessment of the situation as part of the ongoing stress test, then we are ready to talk."
E.On CEO Leonhard Birnbaum emphasised that company plans are based on closure of Germany’s NPPs. “We have no plans for continued operation of any kind. We also do not know the boundary conditions of such continued operation. Explicitly: We don't have any figures on this, and we haven't made any calculations either."
E.On’s 1,400MWe Isar 2 is one of the last three nuclear reactors still operating in Germany - all due to close at the end of the year. The others are ENBW’s 1,300MWe Neckarwestheim 2 plant and RWE’s 1,400MWe Emsland plant. ENBW is willing to consider an extension but RWE is sceptical.
However, the energy crisis caused by sanctions on Russian oil and gas has spurred calls to extend the life of the reactors in order to avoid blackouts during the winter. The government is considering the feasibility of extending operation of the reactors and is expected to publish its proposals in the coming weeks.
Image: The Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Lower Bavaria (photo courtesy of E.On)