Operational reserve not understood: Habeck surprised by the letter from the nuclear power plant operator

Mission reserve not understood
Habeck surprised by the letter from the nuclear power plant operator

In a letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the operator of the Isar 2 nuclear power plant makes it clear that an operational reserve is not technically possible. Minister Habeck is surprised and refers to earlier allegedly different statements. Now it should direct a direct conversation.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck was irritated by a letter from the nuclear power plant operator Preussen Elektra regarding the nuclear power plant reserve he had proposed. The group said in the letter that this was not technically possible. “I took note of the letter this morning with some astonishment,” said the Green politician.

The operators of the Isar 2 nuclear power plant apparently did not understand the concept of the operational reserve. It is not a matter of repeatedly starting up and shutting down the power plant, but of making a one-off decision as to whether the two nuclear power plants intended for this purpose are needed or not. This could happen in December, January or February, for example. “Obviously the technicians at Preussen Elektra didn’t care,” said Habeck. “Der Spiegel” reported on the letter.

According to the Economics Minister, the subsidiary of the network operator Eon wrote in a letter in August that in the event of a so-called stretch operation, the nuclear power plant would have to go into a “short-term standstill”. A temporary shutdown would therefore be possible, said Habeck. It is technically incomprehensible why this should not also apply to the operational reserve.

In addition, Habeck referred to an earlier letter from the energy company in August, in which it announced that a short-term standstill would be necessary even in the event of a longer stretching operation. According to Habeck, this information from the group contradicts itself. Now it should be clarified in new talks what applies, said Habeck. The Economics Minister also pointed out that an overhaul would have been necessary even if stretching operations had been carried out, “that is the obvious wish of Preussen Elektra”. State Secretary for Energy Patrick Graichen wrote this to the company in a reply that is available to ntv.

EnBW, as the operator of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant – also intended for the operational reserve – explained that the group was in contact with the Federal Ministry of Economics to clarify the specific details and questions. “Only then can we evaluate the technical and organizational feasibility of the proposal currently being discussed.”

Habeck proposed on Monday that two of the three nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany be transferred to a temporary operational reserve by the end of the year. As provided for in the nuclear phase-out law, they would thus be taken off the grid and no longer feed in electricity. They should only be used as a reserve if it is necessary to stabilize the power grid. In the case of a stretching operation, the nuclear power plants remained connected to the grid with reduced output and would continue to supply electricity.

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