In view of the Ukraine war, there should not be an extension of the operating times of the nuclear power plants. Lindner had nevertheless re-launched the debate. Lemke has now rejected it again.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke has rejected a new debate on the return to nuclear power.

The Greens politician told the SWR capital city studio that she did not understand the push by her cabinet colleague Christian Lindner (FDP) to talk about extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants in the energy debate. “Because we actually carried out an intensive review and sought to talk to the operators.”

Lindner wants to openly discuss returning

Lindner told the “Bild” on Thursday that Germany must also openly discuss a return to nuclear power in the energy debate. “People expect all options to be considered because of climate protection, dependence on Putin and inflation,” he said. There had already been demands from the Union to let nuclear power plants run longer.

Lemke told SWR that Lindner wanted to “argue without ideology and act without ideology”. For her, however, this means “that it was decided in Germany to phase out nuclear power with good reasons in a cross-party consensus.” According to Lemke, the operators themselves said that continuing to operate the power plants would only be possible if there were major technical and security risks.

Lemke: The war argument doesn’t count

She also did not accept the argument that a life extension would be the right thing to do in the current energy crisis. “We have a war a few hundred kilometers from us, in which nuclear power plants have been shot at, which have been drawn into this war.” It is clear that nuclear power plants are never designed for a war, for such attacks. In addition, many plants were running with fuel elements from Russia.

Only the Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2 nuclear power plants are still connected to the grid in Germany. They are also to be shut down by the end of the year. The economy and environment ministries had already rejected an extension of the terms because of the new situation after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.