jadeApart from political doubts, now there are also technical concerns about the proposal of the Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (Greens) to release two of the last three nuclear power plants into operational readiness after year-end closure by April 2023.
Guido Knott, head of Eon’s subsidiary Preisen-Electra, which operates the Bavarian plant Isar 2, considers Habeck’s plans “technically unfeasible and therefore unsuitable for securing the plant’s supply contribution”.
Knott wrote this in a letter to Hebeck’s Secretary of State, Patrick Gretchen, which is available for FAZ. As early as 25 August, the ministry was informed that in the event of a stretching operation or a complete shutdown, “flexible increase or decrease in production is no longer possible”.
“A nuclear power plant is not an emergency generator”
Contrary to von Hebeck’s claim, this is “certainly not possible in less than a week”. There is a lack of experience with the desired route, “testing a start-up procedure that has never been practiced before should not coincide with a critical condition of the power supply”. Such an approach is “incompatible with our security culture”.
According to the information, Issar 2 is ready for regular stretching operation and thus can generate four terawatt hours of electricity. “It could also drive higher electricity prices,” Knott says. Habeck’s household denies that extending the period will significantly reduce prices.
Bavaria’s Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber (Frei Wahler), whose home state is in charge of nuclear supervision, told FAZ: “A cold reserve is not a good solution. A nuclear power plant is not an emergency generator.” It’s about unknown, complicated processes. Better would be “temporary extension of conditions to ensure security of supply.”
The Environment Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Thekla Walker (Greens), who is responsible for the second Neckarwestheim power plant, supports his party friend Habeck, but adds: “There are still open questions as to whether this concept can be technically To what extent can be enforced and whether special security requirements are observed.”
Habeck counters: “I didn’t understand the concept”
Hebeck refuted Preissen-Electra’s objections. There “the concept clearly didn’t make sense,” he said in Berlin on Wednesday. “Operational reserve is not about running nuclear power plants up and down.” The goal is to see how power supplies are developing in Germany and Europe and then use scenarios from “stress tests” of transmission system operators. To decide whether you need power plants”.
The minister was also surprised that Preissen-Electra pretended not to be able to start the system for operational reserve again after an operational pause. In the mentioned letter dated August 25, the company stated that the shutdown was also necessary for the desired stretching operation. It is incomprehensible why reopening is possible in one case but not in another. “That’s why we’re going to have these talks again, which really applies,” Hebek said.
He was also irritated by the question of the annual security inspection for Issar 2. This was due in October and would only be unnecessary if the plant was to finally go offline two months later, as planned under the Nuclear Phase-out Act. However, the overhaul will be inevitable for Issar 2’s regular stretching operations after December, which Presen-Electra and Eon apparently want. This also applies to the model proposed by the ministry. There is no getting around the review, Hebeck said, indicating that the operator clearly wanted to avoid it: “The letter should therefore be interpreted in such a way that nuclear power plants can only continue to operate if there is no Do not modify, because then technical problems may arise, completely different questions arise.”
Hebek reiterated that you have to talk to the operators about it. “But in this respect the letter is three times surprising.” On Friday, his home also published a reply letter from Secretary of State Gritchen to Knott. In it he writes that there is apparently a “misunderstanding about the planned nuclear power plant reserve” for the winter of 2022/23. If a worst-case scenario happens, power plants go back to the grid and then run until April, “so not turned on and off flexibly, contrary to what’s suggested in your letter”.
As Knott writes, a restart with the “core in stretching mode” isn’t even planned. In conclusion, Gritchen writes: “In your letter dated August 25, 2022, you assured that – although you had already planned for the end of operation on December 31, 2022 – you and your team and ISRO 2 Nuclear Power The plants will be ready. For further operation if there is a recognizable shortage of power and gas. I think your proposal was taken seriously and therefore valid whether it is a stretching operation or deployment as part of the reserve. “
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