Karlsruhe. In light of the dramatic and extremely shocking events in Japan, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has announced that it will temporarily shut down its GKN 1 nuclear power plant on a vountary basis. In this way, EnBW is living up to its special responsibility as an operator of nuclear power plants. Over the last few days, EnBW has repeatedly emphasised that the events in Japan will, of course, be thoroughly examined with regard to EnBW’s own nuclear power plants – with an open outcome. The plant is being shut down out of respect for the obvious public anxieties, and this is also reflected in the political will.
Hans-Peter Villis, CEO of EnBW: “The culture of safety practised at EnBW origi-nates from and becomes apparent in a sense of responsibility extending beyond the safe operation of power stations to also include social issues in general. We are consequently offering open political talks with regard to the future of what are commonly known as “old facilities”. And here open outcome really means open. We are offering to discuss all aspects relating to the future of these safe facilities."
EnBW will also take into account the current list of demands drafted by the Minis-try of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport Baden-Württemberg for the GKN 1 nuclear power plant. EnBW's Board of Management is of the opinion that these demands make economic operation of GKN 1 unfeasible in the long run, which means that it is improbable that this nuclear power plant will start up again.
EnBW considers it understandable that the use of nuclear power in Germany is being debated in light of current events. A discussion reduced to the question of “do we continue to use nuclear power, yes or no” would, however, be to oversim-plify. Nuclear power is part of an energy structure consciously built up in Germany over decades, which makes it necessary to also discuss the effects and conse-quences of shutting down nuclear power plants. In this respect, EnBW hopes that a new, open and responsible dialogue of this kind will form the basis for a new, widely-accepted energy consensus in Germany and will extend to all aspects of a reliable energy supply for the future. “Such a dialogue may then increase accep-tance for the urgently needed extension of the grid and the expansion of storage power stations in Germany. The extension of the grid and storage power stations are vital to the success of the further expansion of renewable energies”, says Villis.
EnBW has invested more than € 900 million in GKN 1 nuclear power plant since it was commissioned. Independent international experts have repeatedly under-scored the high safety standards that are currently in place as a result.