Leak reported at German Isar II nuclear plant - Environment Ministry
According to Germany's environment ministry, a week-long repair is needed in October after a leak at the German Isar II nuclear plant has been reported.
The operator of the Isar II nuclear power plant in southern Germany has informed the Ministry of Environment of a leak at the site, which does not jeopardize security but could need to be repaired, the ministry said on Monday.
It would be necessary to carry out a week-long repair in October, during which operations would stop, if the plant is to operate beyond December 31 as part of the country's reserve plan for nuclear power, the ministry added.
The Isar II is located in the southern state of Bavaria and had been scheduled to go offline at the end of the year; however, the war in Ukraine and the following plunge in energy imports from Russia required a change in policy, with the government currently planning to keep two of the three remaining nuclear power plants on standby into next year.
The economy and environment ministries were both "examining the new situation and its implications for the design and implementation of the standby reserve," as per the Ministry of Environment.
Nuclear power is becoming more popular as countries look for alternatives with the cost of importing energy growing globally and climate crises causing devastation.
With rising gas and power prices and limited resources likely to result in widespread hardship this winter, governments have difficult decisions to make.
Some experts contend that nuclear power should not be a viable alternative, while others contend that given the prevalence of crises, it must continue to be a component of the global energy mix.
Although 32 countries presently use nuclear energy to produce 10% of the world's electricity, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) boosted its predictions for the first time since the 2011 tragedy in September. The IAEA now expects installed capacity to double by 2050 under the most favorable scenario.
Even in Germany, the largest economy in Europe, the topic of continuing with nuclear energy is no longer a taboo as the energy crisis reignites discussion over closing the nation's final three nuclear power reactors by the end of 2022.
Greenpeace Germany's climate and energy expert, Gerald Neubauer, said turning to nuclear was "not a solution to the energy crisis."
He claimed that since Russian gas is primarily "used for heating" in Germany rather than for the generation of electricity, so nuclear energy would only have "limited" efficacy in replacing it.
At the end of August, France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced that her country will desperately need to restart its nuclear reactors, which were shut down previously, to avoid electricity shortages in winter.
Borne stressed that if there is no immediate alternative to gas supplies from Russia, this measure is necessary.
On August 25, EDF, a French energy company, launched 4 out of 12 nuclear reactors that were previously shut down for maintenance over corrosion which was detected in May by the French Nuclear Safety Authority.
As Europe struggles with unaffordable energy prices, it is reported that 32 out of 56 French nuclear reactors remain dormant for different reasons.
France is facing a crisis in energy production, described as "unprecedently difficult" in late July by government spokesperson Olivier Veran. France has taken rationing measures, such as banning illumination and air conditioners in stores at night time.
Due to the possibility of catastrophic accidents and the ongoing debate over how to adequately dispose of radioactive waste, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) experts acknowledge that the use of nuclear energy "can be constrained by societal preferences."
Some countries, like New Zealand, oppose nuclear, and the issue has also been hotly debated in the European Union over whether it should be listed as "green" energy.