German government rejects Bavaria’s request for nuclear power comeback

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BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) – Germany’s Environment Ministry on Sunday rejected a request by the state of Bavaria to allow it to continue operating nuclear power plants, saying the jurisdiction for such facilities it belongs to the federal government.

Germany pulled the plug on its last three nuclear power plants on Saturday, ending a six-decade program, as Berlin enacts a plan to move towards fully renewable electricity generation by 2035 .

The latest stoppage, scheduled for late 2022, was delayed last summer to this year after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Germany to halt Russian imports of fossil fuels and has raised concerns about energy security supply.

Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday said that Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder wanted to ask the federal government to change its nuclear exit law to allow the state to continue operating the plants under the his own jurisdiction.

“Until the crisis ends, and the transition to renewable energies succeeds, we must use every form of energy until the end of the decade,” Soeder was quoted as saying.

The state is home to Isar II, run by the German utility E.ON, which is a 1,400 megawatt (MW) plant, capable of powering the equivalent of a metropolis.

The Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke said that the authorization for Isar II had expired and that restarting its reactor would require a new license.

“It is important to accept the most advanced science and technology and to respect the decision of the German Bundestag,” Lemke said in a statement sent to Reuters. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Markus Wacket; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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