Thierry Breton calls on Germany to extend its nuclear reactors

Despite tensions over Europe’s gas supply, Germany confirms its intention to close its nuclear reactors by the end of the year. European Commissioner Thierry Breton believes that Berlin should continue operating them to ensure European security of supply.

In an interview given to France Inter, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton warned about the energy situation in Europe since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. In particular, he called on Germany to review its position on the early withdrawal of nuclear power. He explains: “There are still three nuclear power plants operating in Germany, which correspond to 25% of their electricity consumption. Rather than deciding to shut them down at the end of the year, as foreseen in the coalition agreements, we can perhaps say that we will continue them for one or two years to solve this problem.

He added that it was essential to “get away from ideology and make sure that we are well aware of today’s needs while keeping in mind the (European) green agenda which is essential.” He even believes that Berlin has given itself “handcuffed to Russia” after closing 23 nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima accident. Indeed, the situation is getting very tense in the countries that consume the most methane, as Russia is gradually closing its gas supply to the Old Continent.

France, two years after the closure of Fessenheim

France has not been spared, however. So much so that the three leading executives of the major national energy companies – Patrick Pouyanné (TotalEnergies), Catherine MacGregor (Engie), and Jean-Bernard Lévy (EDF) – have published a joint opinion paper in the JDD. They call on the French to make efforts to save energy. They state, on the one hand, that “the best energy is the one we do not consume. We must collectively act on energy demand by reducing our consumption to give us some margins of manoeuvre “.

On the other hand, he deplores the fact that “controllable electricity production capacities in Europe are also under pressure as a result of national choices or maintenance programs.” Indeed, some note that this tribune falls two years after the closure of the second reactor of the Fessenheim power plant on June 29th, 2020. In parallel, we also learn that France is preparing to restart the coal-fired power station at Saint-Avold in Moselle next winter “as a precautionary measure, given the situation in Ukraine.” This information was revealed by RTL on Sunday, June 26th, and confirmed Sunday by the Ministry of Energy Transition. ■

Puublished on 5th July 2022

By Sfen

Copyright : Dursun Aydemir / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AF