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Delaying Germany’s Nuclear Phaseout Is Easier Said Than Done

  • EON, EnBW said they are open to keeping plants open past 2022
  • Companies have no contracts to buy nuclear fuel after deadline
A cooling tower at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Essenbach, Germany. 

A cooling tower at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Essenbach, Germany. 

Photographer: Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

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Two of Germany’s largest energy companies said they are open to delaying a highly anticipated nuclear phaseout. But keeping the plants open may be easier said than done.

EON SE and EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG said they’re willing to discuss a possible extension of operations. While keeping the plants open past the 2022 closing deadline is technically possible, companies have no contracts to buy nuclear fuel after that and the government may encounter a backlash from voters and environmental groups alike.