Troll Energy: Poland Offers to Lease Germany’s Nuclear Plants to Keep Them From Closing

ESSENBACH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 12: The cooling tower of the Nuclear Power Plant 'Isar 2' is
Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

A group of Polish lawmakers have presented Germany with a proposal to lease the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants, which, despite the energy crisis in Europe, the German government has maintained its commitment to shut down.

“If the Germans do not want to use their nuclear energy themselves, they should lease it,” argued Polish MP Paulina Matysiak of the Lewica Razem (Left Together) party.

The provocative proposal was put forward by the left-leaning party earlier this week before being considered by the European Committee in the Polish parliament, despite there being almost zero chance of the Germans agreeing to such an idea, German broadcaster NTV reported.

By the end of the year, Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants, Isar 2, Emsland, and Neckarwestheim 2 are set to be closed for good, fulfilling the agenda of former chancellor Angela Merkel, who oversaw the move to phase out all nuclear power in Germany following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Poland, meanwhile, is hoping to complete its first nuclear power plant by the year 2033, after previous attempts under Soviet rule were cancelled in 1989.

Though the Polish offer to lease the remaining three German plants is likely to go nowhere, it demonstrates the growing divide over the issue of nuclear power in Europe. Lewica Razem party leader Adrian Zandberg argued that Germany should continue to operate the plants “for the benefit of the safety of Europe and the climate” and the party has called for a moratorium on phasing out low carbon forms of energy, including nuclear.

Germany has also faced calls from the EU itself to keep its nuclear power plants open, with the Europan Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, saying last month: “It is extremely important to let the three German nuclear power plants that are still in operation run longer.”

The EU has also been at odds with Germany over whether nuclear power should be considered “climate friendly,” with the EU Parliament in Strasbourg voting in favour of the classification last month — to the dismay of Germany, which has argued that despite nuclear producing zero carbon emissions it is too “dangerous” to be a reliable alternative energy source.

Due to its over-reliance on Russian energy imports after decades of pursuing so-called green energy sources like wind and solar, Germany is currently facing the prospect of falling into recession should Russia shut off the natural gas taps.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck of the Greens has argued that since the main shortage is of gas, nuclear energy would do little to lessen the crisis — despite neighbouring France fairing comparatively better due to its abundance of nuclear power.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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